There are many people today who are not part of the local church because they have been hurt by the believer’s there. One way we really hurt people is by judging them. It seems Christians, unfortunately, find it easy to do this. I know I have been guilty of this. I recently talked to a young lady who was “shunned” from her last church for her divorce. Everyone just rushed to judgement that she was breaking the Bible, not knowing anything about what sad things were going on behind closed doors at home. She was ignored, a single mom, and no one cared, they only gossiped, judged, and avoided her. As we talked the deep pain that people she loved and served left her side, and climbed up on a throne to look down on her, her life, and her decisions. She made it clear to me she had no time for church, God or God’s people. Being judged stole her young faith.
I know we Christians are not perfect, but I also know from being in spiritual leadership for over 30 years, that we all underestimate the effects of judgement, slander, and gossip. It deeply wounds people, it does not add value to their lives. It is discouraging and it is hurting us. It’s highly unloving, and we are asked by our Lord Jesus not to do it.
““Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1–5, NIV)
Jesus commands us not to judge others.
I know the pain of being lied about (a form of judging called slander), having people judge your motives, being spoken poorly of behind my back, and having people treat me weird, later knowing they believe something about me that wasn’t true, nor did I know they judged me and my friendship differently. We all know what this is like. We have to forgive and move forward keep our eyes on Christ.
Consider the follow thoughts….
- No one truly knows the motives of others.
- We all walk a different road. Our journey’s are different. Our upbringing, our childhood, our life are not the same.
- Most things are not our business.
- Judging is about looking down on someone to boost us up. It pride.
- The humble rarely judge.
- We always have limited and often incorrect information.
- Judging divides, and that is the devil. He loves to dived families, churches, Christians, and people.
- Judging someone else’s spiritual journey is one of the most immature things a believers can do.
- Judging dehumanizes others, and is a twin to hate.
Christ gave us a new command and that is to love each other. To be patient, to encourage, to speak blessing and not curses. The Bible teaches us to not be prideful, to bear the failures of the weak and to lift each other up, not tear each other down.
Judging, gossiping, complaining, and being rude to people to their face or behind their back, is a visible sign, that our hearts are wrong. May God help us shun this as followers of Jesus and to love others. May we care more about people than their mistakes, pasts, or shortcomings.
Some other Scriptures to help us all:
“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:11–12, NIV)
“Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.” (Romans 14:1, NIV)
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” (Romans 15:1–2, NIV)