Judge but Don't Judge!

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."1

A Daily Encounter reader writes, "As Christians we are told not to judge others. However, we are also told not to cast our pearls before swine. Does that not involve a judgment? This has always confused me."

A judgmental person is a critical, negative, and often an angry and even hostile person. Jesus was saying that if you project this kind of an attitude onto others, that's what you will receive in return. That's true in much of life, for what we project is what we get back. Thus, if we project a judgmental attitude, that's what we'll get back. Or if we project a loving attitude, that's what we will receive in return. What we sow is what we will reap!

Also, the Bible says, that a spiritual person judges or appraises all things.2 So while we are not to be a judgmental person, we need to judge or appraise actions and "all things" to discern that which is good and that which is bad or evil.

When Jesus said, "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs,"3 he was telling us to use discernment and judge the actions of evil people, but not to be judgmental towards them. We are to love these people, but at the same time lovingly avoid sharing with them what you know will be rejected and trodden on.

For me personally, I find it very difficult to do this. I still have a lot of growing to do in this area of my life; that is, to love people when I hate and even despise what they are doing.

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, please give me the wisdom to know how to evaluate (judge) all things, and help me to separate a person from his destructive actions. Help me to hate sin but love the sinner just as you do. And help me to love the things you love and hate the things you hate—and give me the wisdom to know the difference. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV). 2. 1 Corinthians 2:15. 3. Matthew 7:6 (NIV).

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