Untying the Judging Knot
Copyright © 2004 Jeremy Myers
"Judge not lest you be judged
~ Part VI
"Judge not lest you be judged
~ Part VI
It is not unloving for a doctor to point out what is wrong with your body so that you can get better. Nor is it unloving for a pastor, or the elders, or another Christian to point out sin in the body so that it can get better. When Christ says do not judge, He means do not judge incorrectly. When He says, do not condemn, He means do not condemn unjustly. This is in full agreement with the rest of Scripture.
First, don't be self-righteous. Don't be hypocritical. I have already mentioned this a bit but when we call the actions of someone else sinful, or the teachings of someone else false, we must always recognize that the only reason we have not fallen into the same sin or the same error is because God's grace has kept us from it.
We can never know the circumstances in life which led a person to commit a sin which we condemn. We may condemn someone for being an alcoholic. And being addicted to alcohol truly is sin. But what if the only reason that person became alcoholic is because all in the same month, he lost his job, his wife died in a car accident, his son fell off a cliff and broke his neck, and his house burned to the ground? If all of these things happened to me in the same month, I might turn to alcohol too. Which is why I am grateful God has not allowed all of these things to happen to me. There, but for the grace of God, go I. It is not my righteousness that has kept me from such sin, but the grace of God. We must not be self-righteous or hypocritical. We must always recognize that we are most often blind to our own sin. We must never think that we ourselves are free from sin. Our lives will never be perfect this side of heaven.
So when you judge, when you condemn, do not do it with an attitude of superiority, like you've got it all figured out. You don't. You are just another servant of God struggling with the same temptations and same uncertainties trying to help another brother or sister down the path.
Because of this, it is always wise to look to your own heart and life before pointing out the sin in someone else's life. Jesus teaches more about this in verses 39-42 where he talks about the blind leading the blind and removing a speck out of your brother's eye when you have a plank in your own. I have also found that the sin I find most evident in the life of others is often the same sin I struggle with in my own life. So the first guideline in judging others correctly is to not be self-righteous.
The second principle is to remember that it is only God who sees the inward motive of the heart. You only see the outward actions. We can only judge by appearances. It is God alone who knows the heart. Let's say you leave church today, and as you go out the door, you see a friend of yours quickly tuck a beer can inside his coat. You think, "Wow, he must have a problem with alcohol. First, he's trying to hide the fact that he's drinking. Second, he's drinking at church. I better go confront him."
But what actually happened was that as he left church, he saw an empty beer can on the ground. He wanted to improve the way the parking lot looked, so he picked up. Since there aren't any garbage cans out there, he put the empty can inside his coat to throw it out later. Always give people the benefit of the doubt. When someone hurts or disappoints you, very rarely are they doing it intentionally. I know this has been true in my own life. There have been times when someone in church, or my wife Wendy, comes up to me and says, "You know, what you said really hurt." All of these times, it is only because of my ignorance and failure to think of others that I did what I did. I was not trying to hurt or offend them. But that is the way it was perceived.
但是，究竟發生了什麼，當他離開了教堂，他看到了一個空的啤酒可以在地面上。他想，以改善停車場，於是他拿起那空的啤酒。由於沒有任何垃圾桶，他把空罐子放进他自个的外套裡面。總能給他人的利益，毫無疑問。當有人傷害了你，使你失望； 很少是他們這樣做是故意。我知道因为我自己的历经生活。曾經有段時間，當有人在教堂裡，我的妻子溫迪，來給我說，“你知道嗎，你說的话，真的很傷了我。” 所有這些時間，這不僅是因為我的無知和不想到別人，我所做的。我並不想傷害或冒犯他們。但是，這是它是这样被察覺，感知的。
To keep ourselves from judging unjustly, always give people the benefit of the doubt. Do not judge the motives of other people. "The only thing we can do is evaluate what is done and see if it is consistent with the Word of God." Who are we to judge another servant of God? To his own Master, he stands or falls (Rom. 14:4). Jesus says, "Don't judge." In context, He's saying, "Don't judge self-righteously. Don't judge the motives." We seldom have all the facts. God alone is qualified to judge justly. And He will judge. One day, every person will be judged. Even us. And we will be judged according to the same standards we used in judging others.
Therefore, we must be merciful, as verse Luke 6：36 taught, and be generous, as verse 38 goes on to say.
為了保持自己的判斷不公正，總是給人們造福的疑問。不要判斷別人的動機。 “我們唯一可以做的是評估做了什麼，看它是否符合神的話語。” “你是誰，竟然批評別人的家僕呢？他或站穩或跌倒，只和自己的主人有關；但他必定站穩，因為主能夠使他站穩。” ～ 羅馬書（14:4）。耶穌說：“你們不要論斷人。” 在上下文中，他說，“ 你們不要論斷人自以為是，不要判斷的動機。” 我們很少有所有的事實。只有上帝有資格評判公正。他會判斷。有一天，每個人都會加以判斷。即使我們將根據我們在評判他人使用相同的標準來判斷。
因此，我們必須是仁慈的，Luke 6：36節 的教導，大方，第38節接著說。
To be cont'd in part VII