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Trading Mean Memes for Kind Words: A Guide on How to Judge Others Biblically

Reformed Eve is a daughter of God, which makes her royalty - no matter what the world throws at her. She straightens her crown quite often.

Who Are We to Judge?

C.S. Lewis said this: “Jesus Christ did not say, “Go into all the world and tell the world that it is quite right.”

If we look around us, the world is not quite right. When we see negative things happening around us, or people doing things that are so Sodom and Gomorrah, we say, “Who are we to judge?” The world is anti-Christian in every way. “Tolerance is the new normal, along with masks and hand sanitizer.

James 4:11 -12 says this: “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There are only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”

People also immediately think of Matthew 7: 1-5 which says: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged. Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye?”

That’s what we use as our escape. It’s not our problem. It’s not our business. We can’t judge, only God can judge. Maybe these statements are true, but have you read the rest of Matthew?

Judge In A Righteous Way

Matthew continues on with this:

“How can you tell your brother, “Let me remove that speck from your eye,” when there is a log in your own. Hypocrite! FIRST, take the log out of your own eye, THEN you will clearly see to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Let’s focus on the word FIRST, and THEN. FIRST, take the log out of your eyes. THEN help the other person remove the speck from theirs. It seems that we are instructed to take a hard look at ourselves, internally, deal with those issues, before even trying to point out the flaws in others.

James 1:26 says that if anyone believes he is religious but does not control his tongue, this person’s religion is worthless. I am not a fan of religion, but that’s a topic for another time. I do, however, want to focus on what is happening here. People who act religious, and say careless, rude, mean, hurtful things, end up believing in nothing, standing for nothing, and representing nothing good. Their religion is worthless when they judge harshly, especially with words. Proverbs 31:9 says this: Open your mouth, judge, in a righteous way, and defend the rights of those who are needy and poor. Luke 6:31 reminds us to do unto others as we want to be done unto us. When have you completely done something so very wrong, and someone, in an ugly way, chastised you for it? Would you have rather they corrected you in a civil manner, without the harsh words, without the yelling, without the humiliation?

Gentleness Over Rudeness and Hatred

Titus 3: 2-7 reminds us of how very human we are. It says to speak evil of no one. Avoid quarreling. Be gentle. Show courtesy towards others. Titus reminds us that we were once, or are, foolish, led astray, disobedient, slaves to pleasures, slaves to passions, passing our days in envy and malice, hating others, and being hated. However, even though all this, the goodness, love, and kindness of Jesus appeared and saved us.

Yes, we are to judge. But judge, in this every stern, harsh, coarse sense, is not the correct term. We are to gently correct. Galatians 6:1 mentions that if anyone is caught in any kind of transgression, we who are spiritual are to restore that lost person in a spirit of gentleness. It warns us that when we are in the debits of helping someone with a particular problem, we have to be careful ourselves., or we might be tempted to fall into that person’s sin. Romans 14:1 reminds us that there will be people in this world who are weak in faith, however, we are to welcome them but not quarrel over opinions.

So, The Sinner Wants To Keep Sinning?

What happens if you gently correct someone, and they still want to continue in their sinful ways? Look to Mathew 18: 15-17 for an answer. HE says that if someone sins against you, tell him his mistake. Tell him in private, between you them, alone. If they listen to you, you gained a friend. If they do not listen, take one or two others along with you, “that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen to the church, let that person be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector. “

To make those of this scripture, we have to understand a few things.

We must evaluate our sinful nature and mistakes before we try to counsel someone else.

We must talk to that person in private to avoid humiliation.

We must talk to that person in a gentle way.

We must try to get others involved if the person keeps sinning.

In Greek, Gentle is actually ethnikos, which translates to pagan. In Greek, Matthew 18: 16, it says that if the person will still not listen, “take with you more (paralabe meta sour eti), one or two, (hena e dyo), that upon the stomatos, or testimony” of two martyron, or witnesses, may be strengthened, or stathe every (pan) word (rhema). So if we study the Greek translation, why should we get others involved? So they can share their testimonies since we all have a testimony. Our testimonies help others relate to us and give others hope. Our testimonies show others that there is such a thing as rising from the ashes and becoming something brand new. Then if that fails, take them to church. Tell is to the church. Why the church? A church, a good church that follows God instead of being based on weird rules and religions, will expose the sinner to truths in a way that is understandable and applicable. A church should be full of people, all sinners, but sinners who are trying to get closer to God, and therefore, are a beacon of light to those who are in darkness. A healthy church body will be accepting and express concern and love to the sinner. A good church will offer the sinner haven and hope. Public humiliation is not required. What is needed is understanding, being restored, recovery, and a repentant heart.

Carry On, Wayward Son....

But if, after all this, the person continues to go on their worn, beaten, sin-infused path, Jesus mentions that we are to just regard him as a Gentile or a tax collector. This doesn’t mean to treat the sinner badly. It simply means to view the sinner as someone who refuses to listen to God, Jesus, good counsel, and who chooses to, by his own heart, not submit to the Lord. No humiliation, again, is involved. No signs with offensive, hateful slogans need to be flung around in a crowd. No sarcastic memes need to be shared on social media. Just regard the sinner as someone who doesn’t believe. Titus 1: 15 – 16 mentions that the sinner’s mind and consciousness are corrupted. They say that they know God, but their deeds betray their words. Ultimately, treat the sinner with Jesus-like courtesy, feel sorrow for their sinful nature, pray for them, and hope kindly for their future instead of regarding them with contempt.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Reformed Eve

Comments

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 25, 2020:

A very good article for the day. Certainly the more we follow scripture the the world it is.

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