Do you feel it? Have you experienced it? There is a spirit at work in our world that has snowballed into a vicious, ugly monster.
This beast is working overtime to destroy family relationships. It is threatening to tear apart the very fabric of our churches. The bite of this malicious brute has cut many people to the core, wounding fellow brothers and sisters we expect to spend eternity with.
I’m talking about the dragon of judgement.
What does God mean when He commands us not to judge?
Matthew 7:1-5 says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
The dictionary definition of judge is: To form an opinion or conclusion about.
John 7:24 says, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
Now I have the perspective that God never contradicts Himself. If it seems like something is a contradiction, the problem always lies within our understanding. Never in God’s inconsistency.
What exactly is God’s heart in these passages of scripture?
I believe God is attempting to expose our heart attitudes in these verses in Matthew. He is saying that if we are swift and harsh in forming our judgements of others, He will judge us accordingly. If we want to be forgiven, we should be quick to forgive. If want understanding from others, we need to focus on being understanding. If we don’t want others to condemn us for our inconsistencies, we shouldn’t do the same to them. If we want to receive the mercy of God, we need to quickly offer mercy.
Judging others seems to indicate coming to a swift conclusion of others rather than coming from a heart of understanding.
In John 7:24, we can see we are not to make assumptions about others based on appearances. To not judge someone according to appearance communicates that we are to attempt to understand their hearts and motives. Although social media was created to strengthen and encourage relationships, it clearly has done the opposite as well.
Shouldn’t we be gracious and nonjudgemental if we’re unable to have a clear understanding of someone regarding specific issues? Yet, how many times do swift and conclusive judgements get passed over social media? The last part of this verse indicates that we should discern and honestly evaluate. But no where in scripture does it give the indication that it is right for us to condemn another individual.
When we draw a conclusion of others, we like to use the excuse that we are only “fruit inspecting.” Yet, when someone draws conclusions about us, we view it as judgement.
The heart of Jesus causes me to judge myself while blessing the “fruit” in others.
Let’s look into some practical examples of this.
Is there a reason for me to judge you for not wearing a mask? Especially since there are exemptions…Should I condemn you or conclude that you have a valid reason for choosing not to wear one? If you remove your child from their carseat or seat belt while your vehicle is in motion, should I condemn you for breaking a law?
Over twenty different states prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. Should we be judging each other for breaking these laws? There are no exemptions. You break the law when you disregard this. Think about it…Is there a difference in accusing someone for breaking a law versus using these exemptions to something that our President (and higher authorities) say should not be required of everyone?
How many of us have been guilty of breaking laws? I certainly have been. Chances are you have as well.
With a heart of humility and first acknowledging and repenting of my own disobedience and inconsistencies, there are times it is appropriate to encourage others to this repentance. But I have never seen the extent of judging as is happening in our world today.
Instead of accusing others who are wearing masks, should we not conclude they have a valid reason for it? Maybe they have a loved one who is battling cancer. Or they are caretakers of a high risk, elderly person. Just because we don’t understand, gives us no reason to judge. We may believe someone is being controlled by fear, when in reality, they may be responding in love. Should we be judging anyone who isn’t responding exactly as we are?
Sadly, we have crossed a huge threshold with accusations and judgements shooting like fire from a dragon’s mouth. I wonder what it does to the heart of the Father to see His children shooting “dragon fire?”
What does this “dragon fire” look like in our world today? Should I be “shooting fire” your way when I see inconsistencies in your life? If you remove your mask or place it under your nose, should I judge you for not complying to the mandate? If you choose to wear a mask, yet don’t stay six feet apart at church or other gatherings, should I judge you for also not following the mandates?
Do I have reasons to attack you if I see inconsistencies with your seat belt/car seat or texting laws? Is there reason for me to quote Romans 13 to you if I’ve been guilty of driving over the speed limit? Or if I’ve had a disrespectful attitude toward those in authority over me?
Christians have seemed to cross the threshold of judging others like never before. We say our motives for doing some of the things we’re doing are out of love and respect to others, yet the unloving, judgmental monster inside of us is “devouring” and “burning” others alive.
We personally feel there are enough issues in our own hearts and lives that God wants us to repent of and we simply have no reason, time, or motive to judge others.
The intense “fire” surrounding all of this points to what we’ve sensed from near the beginning of this pandemic. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12)
The only way we will fight this “Invisible Enemy” is when we band together as brothers and sisters in Christ. United we stand. Divided we fall.
We need to remember there is an extremely critical law we are breaking when we condemn others. God’s law about judging.
Our judgement of others will either justify or condemn us. How will God judge YOU?
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)