To Judge Or Not To Judge
2008 Revised Version
By Lance Landall
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Many are quick to say, that, “Judging others is not right,”
When neither is that statement, if not balanced with more light.
It’s only wrongful judging, in need of condemnation,
For no person can condemn, its rightful application.
Judging, is just assessing, any given situation,
Which is then enabling one, to make a valuation.
It’s only by this method, an appraisal can be made,
Determining our actions, according to how it’s weighed.
The same applies to people, and whatever they might do,
As we need to determine, whether we should do that too.
Is what they’re doing harmful, is it wrong, or is it right,
Could others be affected, will it good or bad invite?
It’s also what they’re saying, that needs scrutinizing too,
Does it contain some error, is it right, or quite untrue?
Could their words lead us astray, or have us put others wrong,
Could they be deceiving us, or just stringing us along?
Good judgment’s needed daily, as we make our way through life,
For wrongly-made assessments, can bring about grief and strife.
It’s not just we who suffer, as often, others are affected,
By our errors of judgment, or, when judgment we’ve neglected.
We have often heard folk say, that, “There is a time and
Hence, sometimes when we’re judging, confronting others, we must face.
To not confront offenders, just condones and aids their wrong,
Deprives of growth and learning, and wrongfulness can prolong.
Thus, when we don’t deal with wrong, clearly love we do not
For true love knows very well, all need discipline to grow.
However, if you’re told when judging, “It’s none of your concern,”
Where you can’t do anything, the hard way they’ll have to learn.
It’s always how it’s done, of course, and also, how it’s said,
For often wrong approaches, put things back and not ahead.
Just love should motivate you, both for them, and those affected,
And love’s sense of right and wrong, that it knows, can’t be neglected.
Sadly, some are judging blindly, or in a self-righteous way,
Or because of prejudice, they’ve let judgment go astray.
Others are just judgmental, or spitefully fault-finding,
While others are selective, or, false accusation grinding.
Because of wrongful judging, some don’t want judging at all,
Which effectively would mean, wrongfulness would have a ball.
That’s precisely why it is, that wrong must be arrested,
And why we see much more today this world with wrong infested.
So then, when you need to judge, please see it’s done
And to those who have wronged you, please always go directly.
But make sure you’ve judged yourself, well before you head their way,
Lest your very own condition, hypocrisy display.
When and where judgment takes place, humbleness should rule
Aware of our own failings — letting mercy play its part.
For as we judge another, we could also be judged too,
Hence why love in its wisdom, always chooses right to do.
“ ‘If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother’ ” (Matt 18:15, NASB).
“ ‘Do not judge according to appearances, but judge with righteous judgment’ ” (John 7:24, NKJV).
“ ‘And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right?’ ” (Luke 12:57, NASB).
“ ‘You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye’ ” (Matt 7:5).
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, will all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another...” (Col 3:16, NASB).
“But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them” (Prov 24:25, NKJV).
“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him” (Luke 17:3, NKJV).
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching” (2 Tim 4:2, NKJV).
“...And I [Paul] have already passed judgment on the one who did this…” (1 Cor 5:3,4, NIV).
“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that every one who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16,17).
“Mortal, I have made you a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, you shall give them warning from Me. If I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” and you give them no warning, or speak to warn the wicked from their wicked way, in order to save their life, those wicked persons shall die for their iniquity; but their blood I will require at your hand [failure to utter the warning may result in their rushing headlong to destruction, hence their blood will be required at the watchman’s hand. God depends upon the co-operation of human beings in His work of salvation]. But if you warn the wicked, and they do not turn from their wickedness, or from their wicked way, they shall die for their iniquity; but you will have saved your life” (Ezek 3:17-19).
“Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thess 5:21, NKJV).
“Let no one seek his own, but each one the others well-being” (1 Cor 10:24).
“Nothing can be more cruel than the tenderness that consigns another to his sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe rebuke that calls a brother back from the path of sin.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
1) When called upon to choose people for church office, or when voting on the choices made by others. In such a case we have to consider whether the beliefs they hold, their behavior, ability, attitude, background, maturity, responsibility, etc, is satisfactory for such a position, and is in accordance with Scripture.
2) When choosing people for a secular position — e.g., appointing staff, choosing a babysitter, voting someone in as a member of parliament.
3) When seeking help or advice. Are they trustworthy, reliable, is their thinking sound, mature, well balanced, unprejudiced, unbiased, correct?
4) When purchasing. Is the seller telling the truth? Could the seller be mistaken, misinformed?
6) When choosing a marital partner, or close friends. Would that person be a suitable partner or would their lacking, or differences, be destructive to the marital relationship, or our personal well being? Would the close friendship of a particular person be to our detriment in any way?
7) When considering the actions of another church member. Does their action warrant biblical church discipline (see Matt 18:15-17), should it be copied or avoided? Should their action be mentioned to someone who may be adversely affected by it? Should they be approached about it? Could it be harmful to the common good? Could it mislead, endanger?
8) When determining whether words spoken by someone regarding biblical matters, contain error or truth. If error is being spoken, should they be approached, corrected? Should others be informed?
9) When determining whether an action occurring, where others are involved, is suitable for your involvement or presence. Does it violate your conscience, godly principles? Does it put man before God?
10) When determining whether what someone is telling you, should be accepted, rejected, considered or perhaps reported.
11) When determining whether someone’s action in general could be injurious to yourself, others, or even themselves.
12) When acting in the capacity of leader, or when in a position of authority. Is your child, employee, member, advisor, complainant, telling the truth? Is a source correct? Could a fault lie with you? Is an action the right one?
13) When requested to advise a person on a suitable course of action, the suitability of another person, content, material or product.
14) When making choices on behalf of others.
1) Falsely accusing.
2) Spiteful fault finding. Jealousy or guilt based, making yourself feel better by putting others down.
3) Unjust criticism. Embellished, not altogether correct. Over harsh.
4) Prejudiced, biased, selective judging. Choosing to ignore what suits, lacking impartiality, treating differently two people who have done the same wrong, operating with a mind already made up.
5) Acting from a judgmental spirit. Not motivated by genuine concern or love, obsessed with others wrongs.
6) Careless, indifferent judging. Not making an effort to find out all the facts you can, lack of thought/feeling for others.
7) Self righteous, hypocritical judging. Accusing someone of adultery when you’re guilty of stealing, a holier than thou attitude.
We welcome your comments:
Painting by Mary T. Hoffman - God's Creation in Art
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