[ Judging Others ] “Do not judge, or you too will be judged."
Sounds pretty self explanitory doesn't it? But, just like many things in the Bible we take them out of context, give them a world of their own, and use them how we sit fit in any given situation.
Truth is, we aren't to judge, that's God's job, but there are times, where we must tell people the truth, confront sin, or walk away from bad situations/people. That is not judging, there is a difference.
Judging my easiest defintion (I'm putting this in my own words): is me or you making an opinon or observation on someone or something where it is not our place or right, or we don't have all the facts or isn't any of our business to begin with.
Let me give you some examples.. You walk into a restuarant and see someone having a cocktail or glass of wine, some christians would make a judgement that person isn't a christian simply based on their opinion because they think drinking alcohol or any kind is a sin and wrong, yet in some cultures and even different parts of the US social drinking isn't a sin or even an issue like it may be in the area you live. Another example, we can look at the way someone is dressed or has their hair cut or even them having piercings or tattoo's and we may think they aren't a christian or do not go to church because they don't look the way you do or don't fit your "idea" of what a christian should look or dress like.
These are just two small examples, but there are countless others, think about all the times you have judge a person or their situation based on your own opinions, or influence from something else, when you didn't know the sitaution, have all the facts, or things of that nature. It's easy to stand on the outside and judge someone for getting a divorce, or not having a relationship with their child, or quitting their job, but maybe you didn't know that marriage was abusive, or maybe you didn't know the child kept stealing off the parents, or that the person was being mistreated at their job?
We don't know situations and it's not fair for us to judge others based on our own moral compass that changes as often as the wind direction. We all have opinions and most of us like to share them even when we aren't asked for them, but we must be very careful in judging a person or a situation withouth knowing the facts, the details, and reality.
I have been very guilty of this in the past and this is one of the things God has been working on with me to not be so critical or opinionated or even judgemental of others based on my own past experiences, or the way I was raised, or my own personal feelings or emotions.
It is not your place or mine to tell someone whether they are a christian or not, we can guide, pray, and teach people with God's word when asked, but we have no "AUTHORITY" from God to make someone a christian or not, we like to do that when someone dies who's not saved, we like to make them a christian, or on the other hand we try to say someone isn't a christian if they don't go to the same kind of church as you, or they don't use same bible as you, or sing same kind of music as you, or dress like you, or hold to the same narrow-views as you, I'm not making this stuff up, people are really this way, and some of you reading this today may be too, but you're self-unaware or in denial.
My challenge for me and for you is to start thinking through things before we develop opinions or judgements about others or their situations. First of all, if it's none of your business and doesn't relate to you, tell me again why you care? If it's not our business then our opinions are pointless anyway. Stay out of it, I don't know how many times I've seen people get mad at me or others about things that aren't even their concern, apply to them, and most of all their business.
Secondly, if a person doesn't seek out your advice or counsel then don't volunteer your advice or opinion unless asked, and if you are asked, be sincere, honest, and objective in your advice/opinion and keep the extra to yourself. I am an opinionated person and it's ok to have opinions but becareful with who and when you share them. Your advice goes along way when it's not forced or pushed on somneone that hasn't asked.
Thirdly, seek God in all things, the more we medidate on His Word and spend time with Him the more we will see things through His eyes and less we'll judge things or base our opinions on our own skewed views, past mistakes, or hurtful experiences and we can be objective. God is ultimate judge, not you and me. God knows all, and we usually don't know enough about a person or situation and yet our mouths spout freely about things we know little and we push people away, lose friends, and do God's job when we judge others unfairly.
I think Luke said it best with his take on "do not judge" from Jesus.
[ Judging Others ] “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.