Don’t Judge

dont judge

They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” (John 8:7-10)

Read: 1 Kings 22:41-50, 2 Kings 1:1-18, 3:1-27, 8:16-22, 2 Chronicles 18:9 – 20:30

Relate: I was sitting at the mall the other day when I noticed this gentleman walking in with three words written large on his shirt. Those words: “Don’t Judge Bro”. Being who I am, my initial reaction was for a critical attitude to begin to rise up in me. He was a big guy and could probably have lost a few pounds. The shirt itself looked old enough that he probably got it secondhand from some thrift shop. It didn’t match his shorts or shoes… and on and on. Before I even realized what was going on, I was doing the very thing his shirt told me not to simply because part of my mind had read the shirt and rebelled against it.

As I became more aware of what I was doing, I took my mind in another direction. T-shirts with similar messages are almost as common as the attitude behind that message and I began walking around consciously looking for other shirts with a similar message. They were everywhere. In the next ten minutes or so I must have found at least ten other shirts with similar messages on them. One I am not sure would quite fit into this category read, “If you think I’m crazy, you should hear what the voices in my head are saying about you.”

React: The thing is, we live in a society that refuses to be judged. Variations of two common phrases I hear all the time are, “Take the plank out of your own eye first before talking to me” or, “hey, don’t start casting stones, you’re not perfect either.” Both these phrases can trace their origin to the lips of Jesus. Both are terribly overused, misquoted, and abused. From Chris Brown right on down, we live in a world that doesn’t want to be held accountable for our actions. We want to do and say whatever we would like and anyone who tries to keep us in check is an evil, self righteous prig. We quote Jesus without having any idea what He was truly saying. We are like the woman caught in adultery yelling at her accusers in a vain attempt at justifying her own sin.

Jesus had every right to judge that woman caught in adultery. In fact, He did. He judged her worthy of another chance. I can almost imagine this woman if she were alive today. She would turn to Jesus and retort, “Don’t you dare tell me to stop sinning. I can do whatever I want with whoever I want. Take the log out of your own eye first, mister.”

Our responsibility is to not be judgmental towards others. Our responsibility is not to tell them not to be judgmental toward us. We should let Jesus defend our case rather than being so quick to do so ourselves. He alone has the authority to do so anyways.

Respond: 

Jesus, help me to recognize You as my Judge. You can and You will and You have held me accountable for what I have been done. I am Judged and found guilty but You have offered to pay the penalty for my sin. The truth is, I don’t get what I deserve. Keep me from the attitude that would say I deserve to not get what I deserve. It is because of Your grace that I am made right, not because of my goodness. Help me to live with an attitude of gratefulness and humility and submission to You.

 

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12 thoughts on “Don’t Judge

  1. Well said, BJ. How easily it is to get caught in the trap of judgement–and yet how easily it is for me to not want to be judged or held accountable by others. Quite the conundrum–and hence the lie. Thanks for the wisdom.

  2. BJ, I laughed out loud at your story of the man in the t-shirt. I can so relate to the initial knee-jerk internal criticism and the rising rebellion to the t-shirt’s message. Your message here is hard-hitting and right on. Thanks!

  3. Judged and found guilty of what?

    Being made imperfect.

    We don’t blame the deformed pot for being misshaped. Nor do we blame the imperfect material. No, the blame goes to the potter who uses imperfect material, who fires a pot before forming it well. Only the potter has control over such things.

    If your god exists, he is culpable.

  4. Amen We need to remain accountable for our actions, grace is not a license to sin but mercy from from the consequences of sin, hence death. When we live in The Spirit we should walk in The Spirit God bless you!

  5. I guess I can’t argue with the teaching, Judge not, but I do argue a bit with simplistic explanations. For one thing, making an analysis of the message projected by someone’s appearance is not necessarily the “holier than thou” judgment you are supposedly disparaging.
    When you meet an unknown person, it is a very good idea to look attentively and use your head to understand who this person might be. The world is full of frauds who like to pretend to be trustworthy, and some achieve that goal by deliberately appearing to be untrustworthy so we all will feel bad to have jumped to conclusions.
    See how quickly simplistic reactions fall apart.
    Be wise. Be willing to talk with a person without giving that person the opportunity to hurt you. There are times when we cannot exercise our wisdom, because the situation is out of our control. Whether we can act on our wisdom or not, we must be trusting — not the person but rather our God, our rock, our shelter in the storm. When we live in perpetual conversation with him, we don’t need to “judge” people, but we do need to let him teach us how to interact with people who don’t look so trustworthy.
    I hear a lot of comments almost every day saying “judge not,” but when Jesus said those words, they were presented in a context that bears attention when the words are borrowed. People need not to extract them from their context, to which I refer you. Matthew 7

    • I will quote again from above:
      Variations of two common phrases I hear all the time are, “Take the plank out of your own eye first before talking to me” or, “hey, don’t start casting stones, you’re not perfect either.” Both these phrases can trace their origin to the lips of Jesus. Both are terribly overused, misquoted, and abused. From Chris Brown right on down, we live in a world that doesn’t want to be held accountable for our actions.

      The whole point was not so much that we shouldn’t judge but rather that: a) we shouldn’t be judgmental and b) those who are quickest to shout out “don’t judge me” are often using it for things that they should, and will, be judged for.

  6. Good read. We should not judge, however it is inevitable. When we judge a book by it’s cover we could very well be blocking blessings that God is sending in unorthodox ways. Every book has a story, and unless you read it the story has no impact on your life. Jesus died for our second chances. So in those moments we want to judge other we need to be aware that Jesus is the Judge and he id Perfect in his way. It’s a lot easier to do with strangers and a lot harder to do with those people who are a part of our daily lives. Judging is really a way of expressing feelings of concern or discomfort. But woe to those who purposely use the name of God in vain to justify their sinful behaviors. We should all seek to be forgiving and to be forgiven. Thank you Jesus for perfectly loving my imperfectness!!! And thank you for not giving me what I really deserve outside of your Perfect Grace and Mercy! I am blessed and lucky!

  7. I always think of the Great Throne Judgment by the one who is truly able to see justly and judge righteously, until then I leave it alone unless it pertains to myself … my problem isnt the T Shirts … its the pants that say “Juicy” across the rump LOL! 😂👍👌✌

  8. Somehow, teaching moral precepts to others always turn out to be hypocritical. You got the point. If I tell others not to judge me, I’m judging them for judging me. And if I tell others that they can’t tell me not to judge them, I’m also judging them for telling me that.

    So, yeah, I shouldn’t judge, but I shouldn’t tell others not to judge either. But then, how am I supposed to teach the word of Jesus to others? I suppose, this is why before preaching to others, we need to reflect and check if we are not guilty of the very sin against which we want to preach. Likely, we are.

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