“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” ~ Matthew 7:2
Does that sound to you like God will judge me the way that I judge others?
Is that what it means?
That if I measure out wrath and condemnation, then wrath and condemnation will be measured out to me?
Because if that’s what it really means, I want to be as compassionate and gracious and non-judgmental to others as I can possibly be, so that when God judges me, that’s the way He exercises judgment on me.
I do not want to be condemnatory, insulting, and judgmental of people regarding things that I feel I understand but that they do not understand in the same way. Because I do not want God to be condemnatory, insulting and judgmental of me regarding things that He truly does understand and that I didn’t.
Truth will always be truth. Plain truth will always be plain. But when it comes to matters about which God has not specifically spoken, don’t I need to judge for myself what is right and rely on His grace … by showing it to others?
If I judge others, and do so harshly, what does that say about me? That I have the very same authority as Christ? That I have the very same understanding that God has? That I am qualified to write scripture as Paul did, or Peter, or Jude in condemnation of teachings and teachers that clearly diluted the very truth of the gospel? That I am big enough to endure God’s harsh judgment of me?
If I see my primary calling in life as one that must and should call down fire from on high upon each and every soul who does not welcome me or my viewpoints, do I do so to earn praise … or do I deserve a rebuke? Do I win souls by igniting internecine warfare? Is that what God has called me to do as my primary focus as a follower of Christ?
Whether or not one agrees with or likes the figures, The Barna Group has found that 87% of those who do not call themselves Christians perceive those who do as being judgmental. When I reinforce that perception with my behavior – especially toward other Christians – am I being winsome in spirit; attractive with the aroma of Christ in my life?
I don’t imagine that I have a reputation as a conservative Christian. But on this point, I am completely conservative. I take Jesus literally, at His word here. I think He means what He says. I believe His Spirit inspired Paul to write to Christians across Galatia: “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (6:1). I think it’s possible that the temptation he’s talking about is not so much that a spiritual person will fall into the same sin as the one he/she is trying to restore, but to fall into completely different sins of pride, self-righteousness, anger and arrogant hypocrisy.
Being found guilty of that laundry list is not how I want to be judged. By others.
Nor by God.
2 thoughts on “How to Be Judged”
Over on Jay Guin’s < HREF="http://oneinjesus.info/2008/10/16/a-complaint-about-the-transforming-word/#comments" REL="nofollow">first<> blog post about the ACU’s new commentary, you accused Rey (that would be me) of being rude. However, in the < HREF="http://oneinjesus.info/2008/10/18/gods-transforming-word-where-we-go-from-here/" REL="nofollow">second<> post on the same, Jay expresses the opinion that belief in inerrancy is unimportant, which is is just another way of saying that he doesn’t believe in inerrancy.>>Now, here is the question: If the Bible is not inerrant, then how do we know whether Jesus actually said “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”? (Mat 7:1-2)>>If the Bible has errors, this could just be one of those errors.>>On the other hand, if it is not an error, and the Bible is inerrant, then we must interpret the last clause “for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged” to mean that whatever you use BEYOND THE SCRIPTURES to judge others, God will use in judging you. Because from other Scriptures, we know all men will already be judged by God by Scripture. Scripture therefore cannot be something additional that you only get judged by if you judge others by it, but all will be judged by Scripture anyway (assuming that Jay is wrong and that Scripture is inerrant).>>Now, if Jay is wrong in claiming that Scripture is erroneous, then there is no harm in judging by the Scriptures that this man who supports homosexuality and claims the Bible to be in error is wrong, for the Scriptures show he is wrong and they are innerrant (since he is wrong in claiming they are in error). There is no danger, I say, because I will already be judged by the Scriptures as well in such a case and thus bring no new standard against myself.>>But, if Jay is right and the Bible is full of errors, then perhaps if I judge Jay by the Bible, then I will cause God to add the Bible as a standard of judgment against me (when it wasn’t before). But that assumes that the passage before us is not one of the errors! If it is one of the errors, then even though I judge Jay by the Bible God will not add the Bible as a standard of judgment to judge me by.>>Suffice it to say, in the end, that we ought not fear judging other’s actions and doctrines by the Bible in either case.
My mom gave me some good advice years ago when I joined the debate team in high school: “Don’t argue with people who enjoy it too much.”>>I’m going to take her advice, rey.