MUCH of life is dependent on our judgement. We make judgements about the weather; heavy clouds say that it might rain. If we see someone in tears, we assume sadness or grief.
If two individuals are dating, we assume intimacy. With young women who wear short or tight clothes, the assumption is promiscuity. People who do not meet our standard dress code in church, we associate them with unholiness. The problem with being judgmental is when we start to determine who is righteous and who is not based on our selfish standard of righteousness.
Our Judgement reflects our own weaknesses.
You see, much of the ways in which we judge people reflects our own behavior. When we assume two people who are dating are having sexual relations, that was probably our behavior when we dated. Our judgement in many cases is the act of superimposing our behavior on others. For the bible says, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” What your heart has experience is what the mouth will say.
I once heard an older (50) brother in church accuse a seventeen-year-old young lady of being sinful. He looked straight at her and said that “sin is written all over your face.” And his only evidence is that she was dating a young man in church. But I knew his story; that was his exact behavior before becoming a Christian. I had another church official who constantly preached against short or tight women clothing, while soliciting unwholesome relations and making advances on the same people that he criticized. Yes, our judgment does reflect our own experience. What we are, is what we may think of others.
Judgement promotes the superiority complex.
Some people will also assume the worst of others so that they can feel better about themselves. It will reflect on how you think you are better than others. This is an experience black people often have living in North America. My family and I once walked into a buffet restaurant in Orlando Florida. In most cases, a buffet setup leaves you alone to choose your food and the only interaction with those who provide that service is when you take your food up to the cashier to pay. However, this white man followed within inches behind us the whole time. He even wanted to make our food choices. That is all while the other white people in the restaurant are left alone.
People often treat you as the outcast to justify their belonging to a superior class. I grew up in a culture that viewed non-sabbath keeping Christians as unbelievers, while we called ourselves (sabbath-keepers) a holy nation and a royal priesthood. Yes, we judge people because we feel superior to them.
Judgement for Christians should never exist without virtue.
Judgement is a natural function of the human thinking process. It is natural for us to make assumptions, draw conclusions, make evaluations and read-between-the-lines. So, we will always make judgements about people. But here is the thing, Judgement must always be combined with virtue. Judgement must include love, mercy, kindness, truth, patience, understanding and all the fruits of the spirit (Gal. 5:22).
And if you are to judge, use the same standard you use to assess people to examine yourself. Take the beam out of your eyes before you point to the mote in the other person’s eyes (Matt. 7:3-5). You see, you can judge without loving, but you cannot love without being just (Zacharias)!
Love is a much better transformation agent than judgement. If you intend to change another person’s behavior, try love instead of judgement. That is what Jesus did in his encounter with a prostitute:
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? …When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
As Jesus reflected on the pharisees’ unreasonable condemnation of that woman, he said, “Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me” (John 8: 3-16).
Jesus is making 4 points about judgement.
In that encounter Jesus provides guidance about judgment which we all need to heed:
1. Don’t judge just to expose others’ failure.
2. If you have to judge, be sincere.
3. Judgement of others may hide your own faults.
4. If you ever judge people, ensure that the love of God is in your heart first.
Our Job is to teach people the way. Help them up, not to condemn people on suspicion. Stop playing judge, be a friend, show love and testify of the saving grace of Jesus.