If you are like me, you are inclining to judge yourself more punitively than others ever will. Though they do not know that when they judge you, that they are second in line. But also they judged you with an air of self-righteousness, ‘that could never happen to me’, how could he do that? When in fact they have done worst, that is if night becomes day, and all hidden secrets revealed, becomes open truths. They are going against the advice of Scripture too, ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way as 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 (Matt 7: 1-5). This advice came from Christ lips to His followers, Christians, and the advice is not to judge hypocritically or self-righteously as can be seen from the context. Christ expressed similar thoughts further up in chapter 23: 13 – 39. To obey Christ command according to this text we must first evaluate a person’s character, whether he is a ‘dog, or a false prophet, or whether his/her life shows fruit. Repeatedly in the Scriptures Christians are exhorted to evaluate each other carefully and choose between good and evil people and things and those who masquerade as angels of light (2Cor. 11: 14).
Many of us have become experts, masters of the art in judging others, you aren’t even readily aware, when they do it to you or someone you know, not until it later register when you have time to reflect. Moreover, you think, my God, did he just do that or why did he say that? Since judging others means that we are having or displaying an overly critical point of view, and we are taking the place of God, He hates it not only because it is wrong, but because we are taking His place which no man is in the position to do. The problem of leaky lips, betraying confidence, being overly critical of others, taking a spiritually superior position is particularly rife among modern leaders. We walk around with that aura of authority, oh look at us, we have never commit a fault, we are blameless from birth, but when we hear something, instead of speaking to them in confidence, help them to overcome their weakness, praying for them, we pass judgement, we condemn rather than heal, because we become little gods. So much so that many are reluctant, church members will not approach their leaders about a personal culpability. Wow, so scary of their leaders has so many become that they prefer to transfer membership to another congregation. ‘Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’ (James 5: 16). Anyone, but especially leaders who leak a personal issue that someone reveal to him in confidence, an issue that will cause embarrassment if passed on betray the trust of members of their congregations or others who confide in them in. A leader with a leaky lip needs to be disrobed because he has let his parishioners and his church community down.
People do tend to get upset about others who challenge their own personal behaviour, and so many are reluctant to approach them. If you see it or hear it, address it, but if you cannot address it directly, speak with someone who can, and only with a view to heal. Even so whatever way you try, whether they work or not you can pray for their healing, do not do anything that will destroy them. The alternative is not to judge them or leak such information to anyone else because it will never stop until everyone knows, and the church splits. God is not the author of divisions! These types of problems, of the ‘unguarded lips’ kind, exist only because we have biblically ungifted, untrained, unprofessional leaders, managing churches. Many who have never taken a course in leadership or church management, but placed in a role that does not suit them, they do not know how to handle it. Therefore, when are told or hear something indirectly, they quickly pass judgement only because they want to be seen as being with it, that is not setting a good example that is not leadership. Scripture makes it very clear that there is one supreme Judge of all, the Lord God and that He alone has the authority to determine right and wrong motives and behaviours. Many Old Testament passages corroborate to the truth of God as Judge:
‘God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day’ (Psalm 7:11). ‘He shall judge the world in righteousness, and he shall administer judgments for the people in uprightness’ (Psalm 9:8). ‘Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God himself is Judge. Selah’ (Psalm 50:6). ‘For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us’ (Isaiah 33:22).
Did Jesus advise his followers not to judge others? What about making general comments about is right or wrong in others? In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke a lot against people passing judgement on others. It is clear from reading the wider context that Jesus was commenting on people who make it a point of practice of making personal judgments against others, when their own lifestyle and behaviour was questionable even extremely compromised than the people they were passing judgement on. However, reading in context, the wider application, the object of Jesus’ comments may not be easily detectable. Jesus was very clear about those in the religious establishment in Israel who came in for fierce criticism. Jesus target the hypocrisy of the Jewish religious institutions of His day, Jesus had the authority to judge them, not man.
The Father has committed authority and judgment to the His Son. Jesus confirmed His authority before He ascended to heaven after His Resurrection (Matt. 28:18). ‘For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son’ (John 5:22). ‘I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day’ (John 12:46–48). ‘Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead’ (Acts 17:31). These scriptures among many others clearly prove, very clear that one day Jesus will rightly judge all humanity based on each individual’s faith in, or rejection of the Son of God. For a world filled with people who believe in moral relativism and for many practicing Christians who exercise virtue on the basis they can earn morality will be filled with dread and anxiety on the day of the Lord. Jesus Christ is the righteous Judge of the universe and He has made a judgment about salvation, as Peter declares, Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4: 12). Humankind will have no time to debate whether the judgment is right or wrong because God the arbiter has decreed His justice through His Son, Christ.
Now reflect on the notion of judging as it relates to believers and nonbelievers. Obviously, the approaches are different when dealing with them, but the goal is appeasement. Nonbelievers need to know Christ and be reconciled to Him, and believers need to mature in Christ and be reconciled to each other. There scriptures show that Jesus was very displeased about the conduct of hypocrites than probably anything else that He faced. Therefore, His warning against judging others was primarily aimed at those who thought they were superior to others. In other words, get your own house in order before you criticize others. We all have sinned and fall short of Gods glory.
Stop beating up on yourself, when you are judged, you are a work in progress, which means that you get there a little at a time not all at the same time or pace, we are not all ‘speedy Gonzales’. The songwriter ask on behalf of all who are being judged, ‘please be patient with me, God is not through with me yet… when God get through with me, I shall come forth as pure gold’. Never throw in the towel, because someone belittle you, put you down, do not ever quit. Winners never quit, and quitters never win, ‘we are more than conquerors in Christ. Countless numbers of Christians wants to quit, feel they have to abandon, their walk with Christ because of a leaky heartless, unforgiving congregation. Many others are under pressure to quit because of a minor infraction and because of someone in the group are looking mockingly in our direction, telling us it is time to. Yep we want to hide when we are judged when seemingly things get tough and because of being aware of our culpabilities but which remain unobserved from the masses only because they are ineffectual.
When we make our mistakes, we feel embarrassed, we let ourselves down, and it is between God and us, no human judge, no one else. No matter how many times we falter and fail, fall flat on our backs, pick up, stand up and start again, we can bounce back from anything Satan throw at us and inspire the many unrighteous judging. It is not what people say about us that should determine who we are; shape our future or what we should become. We should not look back on our past mistakes, but move forward from them with confidence, as God for help in times of faintness. ‘Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame’ (Isa. 50: 7). God’s servant will be honoured in time, but he must endure the cutting, hypocritical judging with self-assured determination to face up to his detractors. So that we increase self-assurance and replace fear of, with victory upon victory, and our strength, well, we will act no less courageously than those judges whose affluences have previously opens corridors of opportunities. For however, strong hypocritical judgers may appear, underlying they display deficiency only by the means to demonstrate the complete magnitude of their injustice ignorance. Remember that even a poisonous serpent is safe to handle in the cold climate, when it is lethargic. However, be aware that its venom is still present, though sedentary. In the same way be on the alert for noxious tongue, though they seem snoozing, sociable and gentle the virulence is still there and has the ability to distribute discomfort.