The sins of legalism and judging cause many of the interpersonal conflicts we experience as believers. Judging is a hot-button issue in the church today. In the 1960’s and 70’s the most familiar verse was John 3: 16. Not today. Now the most commonly known verse is “Judge not that ye be not judged.Some people don’t know what it means to judge, but most people do, judging can simply be defined as “evaluating someone or something and then reaching a positive or negative conclusion. legalism which is sisters to judging can be e=defines as “creating moral standards beyond what the Scripture has revealed. This can happen in the minds of individual Christians, causing them to be unnecessarily restricted in their own behavior and judgmental toward others who do not practice the same standard or see things how they do.”We know that The Word of God is the only true and righteous standard that we should hold our lives up to, not what others think or feel about us. There is a right and wrong way to judge something or someone. the right way is by the Word of God, the wrong way is by our finite mind, or inaccurate information received from the person or what others have seen or heard. We do this by nature but the Bible says:And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears. Isaiah 11:3. Why do we do it? It is the nature of man to feel justified,obligated, or even a mystery-solver, I call it “Spiritual inspector Gadgets” Whatever don’t fit into our self-righteous mindsets or idea of what it should be we judge as if we are God and can send people to hell or heaven. This was the major problem with the Pharisees in the Bible during Jesus time. They even judged Jesus’ actions, but He knew their hearts and thoughts, and they were wicked.If we find ourselves in this situation or sin like the Bible calls it, we are in danger of being judged ourselves.I find that sometimes I cannot stop the person before they share the judgmental information, but I try to ask at least the first question as soon as I can. The questions are: (1) What is your reason for telling me? If the only reason I need to know is so that I can pray, I probably don’t need to know. (2) Where did you get your information? If the person will not reveal his sources, he is probably spreading rumors or unreliable information. (3) Have you gone to those directly involved to seek to restore them? (4) Have you personally checked out all the facts? If he has not gone directly to those involved and has not checked out the facts, he is not interested in helping. If he really needs counsel on how to do it, he will not be asking for such help from several sources. I often say, “After you have gone to him, let me know how it went.” This holds him accountable. (5) Can I quote you if I check this out? If someone is spreading judgmental falsehoods or half-truths, he won’t want to be quoted!
Setting yourself up as judge leads to conflict and broken relationships. Humbly submitting to God and His Word and obediently seeking to love and build up others leads to harmony and restored relationships. The next time you’re tempted to run down someone, remember yourself when you were judged, you did not like it much did you? “But who are you who judge your neighbor?” Judge yourself instead! Lord Jesus, I pray in your name that you take this ugly sin out of the Body of Christ and that help us to be a people of prayer, love, and true discernment. That we always use Your Word to correct, love, reprove, and be vessels used by You and not damaging to others, running them away from You and the Church which is the saints hospital in Jesus name I pray amen! Let’s love people of God and stop judging negatively based on people’s appearance,situation, circumstance, or a simple conversation.