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Straight Talk:Judging Others and being Judgmental

April 19, 201221 Comments

Within one week I have had two very different conversations discussing judging and being judgmental.  First, I was humbled by a request to read a post that the author was told was judgmental, and just in a conversation judging others came up.  After the second conversation I decided I should post it here and get the conversation going about this very hot topic.  I’ll put the bottom line up front, Jesus said “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Mat 7:1).  While the verse is nine words long, and so simple a child could understand it, it doesn’t appear to be that clear to all.

My goal is to frame a couple of situations to see what judging really is, what it isn’t, and if people are just pulling the “judgment card”.

If a person simply believes that what you believe is wrong, have they judged you?

If a God-loving young woman, with bible in hand showed a scripture to her college roommate about fornication.  Has she judged her roommate? If she yells the scripture at her does that change it?

If a clerk at a store finishes with a customer, turns around and under their breath, calls the customer all sorts of derogatory names, is that judging?

Are there times when we need to judge? How about Criminals, How about ourselves!

Is the determination for being judged or judgmental, left to perception and how a person feels?

Does judging others happen when we give a value statement about the content of their heart or their actions?

To be accused of being judgmental or to have judged someone is a very serious accusation.  However, while I could give you the scripture and what I believe judging someone is, I have seen numerous times when the accusation has been launched but the situation didn’t fit the ticket!

I need your comments, this judging business appears to be clear as mud.  Strictly forbidden in scripture, but not clear to everyone as to when it’s happening.  Thanks for stopping by and reading, please leave a comment your perspective is much appreciated.

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  1. The Bottom Line on Judging : Klarion Kall | May 4, 2012
  1. There are so many different perspectives, cutltures and backgrounds that I believe are difficult for some people to understand, myself included, especially if your world box is small. I try not to judge unless it is in a situation where there could be possible harm. However, there are moments when the line is not clear. I try to put those moments in God’s hands for an answer –or not.

    • KlarionKall says:

      Ginny,

      Thanks for the time you took to comment. I really appreciate it, right not I’m taking it all in for another post on judgment. Thank you very much and God’s peace, love and joy be yours!

  2. IAN..BAARD says:

    ABORTION….. THERE THIS.. IS THE PHISYICAL REALITY OF A SPIRITUAL TRUTH,,THAT IS ALSO HAPPENING WHEN WE DO NOT RIGHTLY DEVIDE THE WORD IN LOVE TO OTHERS NOT DECERNING THERE TRUE POSITION…..WE MUST BE AWARE OF THIS….LEAGALISIM..IS A DEATH CERTIFICATE,,,..IF A PERSON HAS A SIN ISSUE… IT STANDS TO REASON THAT THERE TRUE IDENTITY,, OF WHO THEY ARE IN CHRIST,,AND WHO HE IS,,, THIS IS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM NOT THE SIN,,IF ONE IS AWERE OF THERE IDENTITY ..GRACE AND TRUTH,, THEN THE SIN WILL BE DEALT WITH SWIFTLY,,ONLY GRACE AND TRUTH,,WITCH GO TOGETHER IN THE WORD,,AND IS A PERSON,,CHRIST,CAN DEAL WITH SIN,,..

  3. Wow, what a loaded question! May He grant you His wisdom and insight so that His heart might clearly be heard and conveyed…

  4. bhowe4321 says:

    I like how referenced criminals in this blog. I have been in the US court system a lot lately with adoptions, child protection, and traffic for my son. In the last six times I have sat in a court room I have only heard one judge, when swearing in a witness say “so help you God.” Heartbreaking, to say the least. Your judicial system was founded on Biblical principals and now we leave the most important part out.

    Ok, stepping down from my soapbox. As for judging, I agree that our answers can be found in the text of God’s word!

  5. Mel says:

    Hmm, sticky stuff here. Thanks for posing this question and opening it up for the Holy Spirit to speak and move.

    I think judging happens in our hearts and minds. Whether or not we ever say or do anything with that judgement, God sees it. Just like lusting after someone, even though you may not ever speak or act upon those thoughts/feelings, it’s still wrong. God always sees the condition of our hearts. Whether or not I openly state/act out a judgement towards someone doesn’t mean I haven’t judged.

    I really depend on the Holy Spirit for conviction in all things, including judging. God is faithful to lead us in every single way.

    Example: a couple weeks ago I met a well-known lady around my age who is also a believer and a writer. Based soley upon her few interactions with me, I had judged her in my heart. I had decided she was a bit conceited and a bad representation of a believer (and who in the world am I to think that!?) and maybe not even a very good writer. YIKES! I never said or did anything with these thoughts BUT I thought them. God knew it. I knew it. I felt seriously convicted. I had only spoken to her for mere minutes and already had mentally boxed her up and shoved her into a category. How unfair- what do I really know about her or what she’s walking through or what the story of her life is? Absolutely nothing! Who am I to draw such conclusions on anyone? God reveled to me that such thoughts/judgements, if left neglected in our hearts, will definitely effect the way we interact with those we have judged and many other things, too. Thus, I repented of those judgements!

    Just an example where God convicted me of judging.

  6. Mel says:

    Wait…I have another thought, too…I don’t think judging can be indefinitely defined. No sin is ever black and white. I think Jesus is vague for a reason. He wants all of us, our whole lives and every ounce of our beings, totally consumed by Him. Not preoccupied by just how close we can get to judging (or substitute any other sin or fleshly/worldly thing) before we cross the line/mess up/sin.

  7. Judy says:

    You ask a very relevant question. Many Christians who truly have no thought of judgment in their hearts are perceived as judging. (On the other hand, there are sadly those who do presume to judge. They make it harder for the rest of us.) We can’t help other people’s perceptions, but we can do our best to communicate truth carefully. Jesus asked questions. He spoke truth. He lived truth. He really loved people. And some people were offended by it. If we truly listen to others and respect them, regardless of how we feel about them or their choices, maybe we can communicate without the appearance of judgment. And, of course, we need to honestly examine our own hearts as some of your comments point out. Great discussion – thanks!

  8. Shannon says:

    Hi,

    I think that there is a difference between having an impartial opinion and judging someone. Having an opinion perhaps is more open minded whereas judging someone is assuming without knowing all the facts, and also being derogatory. I don’t think its possible to judge in a ‘nice’ way, if you see what I mean.

    • Thomas Smith says:

      When it comes to people as you mentioned, you are right there is no judging in a “nice” way and I believe that’s why Jesus said don’t do it. I can see your point about having an opinion, what do you think about beliefs? Are they stronger or do they make someone close minded? Thanks Shannon for you time, you are deeply appreciated.

      • Shannon says:

        I think a lot of people are close minded, but without even realizing. If you believe something to be true, you’re not going to go looking for different answers. You have to remind yourself that you’re not always right. This happens to me a lot, I’ll think something and then someone will give a different perspective that never even occurred to me and it really makes me think about it all over again. Sometimes its hard to get your own individual thoughts as we are constantly told what to do and think. This makes not being judgemental hard too.

        • Thomas Smith says:

          Thanks Shannon for your thoughts, I really appreciate them. I think that for the most part what you said is actually what makes things work when dealing with people at work and in most contexts. I think that’s part of being humble and not taking yourself too serious.

          Your statement, “If you believe something to be true, you’re not going to go looking for different answers.” At the heart of all of this, is the issue of Christianity and in light of that statement, can a person be convinced of God’s truth and not need to look for other answers?

          God Bless You!

  9. Tahlitha says:

    Hi Thomas, your biblical perspective is always an encouragement.

    “We need to remember that as Christians we are the ones convinced of God and His truths, not the people listening to us.”

    It seems for some that judgement is for applause and notoriety and not for the conviction (grace) we ourselves have come to know. When we as Christians can share God from our own spiritual growth (not opinion), our own story…’of how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is’…then we are truly ready to approach others and be receptive to their thoughts.

    Have a wonderful day Thomas.

    • Thomas Smith says:

      Thank you Tahlitha,

      I appreciate your kind words, thank you for them. You are right, when the “message” is real then we’re ready to approach others. I know you didn’t speak to time, but when it comes to being convinced of His love, His reality and intent towards us, it doesn’t have to be long. I believe, if I’m looking at my bible right, that happens at the point of salvation. what do you think?

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