Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J: Judge Not???

There is only one Lawgiver and one Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?  James 4:12

Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you too will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be used.  Matthew 7:1-2

Looking at the pictures what are they about?  What's happening in them?  No doubt many of you already have a story in mind.  Or, the growers out there will key in on the plants--what are they? Do you know?  How about you contractors?  What do you see?
The thing is, everyone looks and makes decisions based on what they see. We form judgements.
Wait, no, that can't be right. Judging is bad.  Jesus himself said don't judge.

There's judging and then there's judging.

In my business we have to make judgements every day:  our triage nurses have to make judgements regarding advice and office visits based on what parents tell them on the phone--we have awesome nurses!!!!  I have to make judgements regarding best treatments for my patients or make decisions that could result in a child being removed from a home.
In all of these scenarios we make judgements based on many factors.  We ask questions, finding out as much information as we can.  I'm sure everyone can think of at least one scenario where they had to make a judgement.
Judgement like this is necessary.  It's making rational, sensible decisions based on facts and educated assessments.  You have to make sound calls in business in order to take calculated risks.  In writing you make judgements about what to keep and what to edit.  The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. Sometimes it's right, sometimes not.  The more you do it, the better you get at making right decisions.
These involve judgment of situations, not people.  It's good judgment.  But, of course, opinions about people are formed, for good or bad.
That leads to the bad judgment. Bad judgment ignores sensibility and doesn't care about the facts.  It lets feelings, prejudices, and personal experience cloud the picture. 
In our workplaces we do it all the time--that person who's never there on time or leaves early every day. That customer who doesn't dress "right"--what's right anyway? We don't know their situations yet we presume to make assumptions about them. 
Do you judge people or situations? 
Sometimes though, it's not really others we're being hard on, but ourselves.  Another human quality is comparing ourselves with others. With what measure to you judge yourself?  Why are we often so willing to give others a break but not cut ourselves some slack?We need to look at ourselves and see where we can improve or grow, but beating ourselves up over things is not good judgement.

No matter how pure we think we are it's human nature to judge. What we do with those opinions is what counts. Will you choose to reserve your first impression until you have all the facts? Or, will you let your personal feelings ignore the truth?
In the end the only person we'll be accountable for is ourselves.  How will others judge you?

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


  1. I admit I'm quick to jump to conclusions and even quicker to change my opinion when faced with a new perspective.

  2. I used to judge very quickly and stand by my opinion. Now I tend to sit on the fence and see both sides. It's better to watch and wait, I think.

  3. We only get one chance to make a good first impression! Isn't that because people/we are JUDGING based on appearance, etc?

    1. Yeah, so our internal judge should look at the outfit and say "hey, don't wear the flip-flops to the interview!" It's pretty much impossible not to judge on first impressions.

  4. That verse is probably the most misquoted, misapplied, abused, and yanked out of context verse in the entire bible. We are forbidden to judge motives of the heart since no man has the ability to know the heart of a man. However, we are to mark and avoid heretics, we are to come alongside those who have fallen into sin, we are to discipline sinning members of the body, we are to recognize false teaching and false teachers in order not to be deceived. By the way, Christ did not come to judge during his first advent, but severe judgment has been given to Him by the Father and Christ Jesus will judge the hearts of men at the great white throne judgement.

    1. I agree. We never can know what's in person's heart, but we are to be discerning when it comes to actions and violating God's word. Judgement is for Christ alone. We discipline actions but still love the person. Only God has the power to judge and condemn.

  5. Lovely post. I'm working on myself at the moment to be less judgemental towards people. I am very good at seeing both sides of a situation (as long as I'm not involved in it, I'm working on that too!) but I do tend to jump to conclusions, I think.

    Nikki – inspire nordic

  6. I learnt many years ago not to be judgemental, there is always a reason for someone's actions. I listen to both sides.

  7. Now don't judge me :), but I am not judgemental. Don't know why. I have plenty of other flaws, though, I need to work on. Judging others isn't one of them.

    And I believe that God is the ultimate Judge. We need to discern right from wrong but I'm leaving judging up to him.

    PS We yank all kinds of verses out of context. My feelings are that God would rather we pull them out to study them than to never look at them at all.


  8. Excellent point about needing to make judgements, which helps us make wise decisions, and actually judging of people, which is a prideful thing.

    Nice to meet you, and I hope you're enjoying the Challenge!

    A to Z Challenge Host

  9. When reading the verses I've seen people make the assumption that all judgement is bad, especially when applied to people. But, when done with God's discerment it's not only right, but also is our repsonsibility. A judge--and common sense--decides a baby shouldn't live with a crack addicted mother, but if mom proves she is rehabilitated the judge can let her have her baby back. In this way we judge the actions as good or bad, but not the mother. Or not let our personal bias against her cloud our judgement on positive actions.