This is a continuation of my personal reflections on how I am doing at “being” a disciple of Jesus Christ.
During his three year ministry on the earth Jesus judged no one except the religious establishment. Judging is a major idol in that Its purpose is usually to make us superior to others and that takes away our focus on God who is the ultimate judge at least at the final judgment. Here are some worthy passages in the red letters on the topic of judgment.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way 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.
Judging is perhaps the ultimate form of idolatry. When we judge others we are most often putting ourselves above them. Jesus came to die for ALL. He had unsurpassable love for all. That is why he did not judge people, not even the woman being stoned for adultery.
There is a difference between judgment and discernment. Greg Boyd does a good job of explaining this in one of his books (I forgot which one 🙂 ) but I still don’t fully understand the difference. Sometimes judging is good and sometimes bad. As I said if we judge with the intent of making ourselves superior to the one we are judging then I believe it is always bad. The Pharisees were experts in this type of judging. Some say the judgment that Jesus was talking about was our judging others as to only whether they deserve to be in heaven. I personally think it goes well beyond that!
What I believe to be our natural in-bred tendency to judge others is what Jesus was talking about when he mentioned the log in the above text. Judgment gets in the way of more important things. I must admit that this is one of those areas that I wish I could control much better than I do. I don’t think I often judge people as to whether they will be in heaven. But, I do OFTEN look at people’s actions and judge their morals and especially their narcissism. I often mention a condition that I think is rampant in today’s western societies. I call it Me-itis. This is where people have their head stuck up their own rear end so far that they can only see themselves. These type of people simply drive me batty. I am constantly judging them almost everywhere: when I drive, at the mall, and yes sometimes, but hopefully rarely, even in church! I judge people who I see playing golf on Sunday morning instead of being in church. I judge people who spend lavishly on themselves but seem to have no compassion for others. And as the previous post mentioned I judge people who don’t have the same level of enthusiasm for the same discipleship issues that I do.
I could go on and on about this failure of mine but I think you get the idea. I pray daily, if not hourly, that Jesus give me some of the infinite love he has for ALL of us. I should love and have compassion for everyone especially those who I catch myself judging.