Sunday, March 27, 2011

Here Come Da Judge

"Judge". What comes to mind when you hear the word? A man wearing a long black robe, and perhaps a powdered wig? Simon Cowell from American Idol? The general tone is of a rather grouchy, detached, powerful man or woman making a ruling that will change your life. Each of us has an opinion, but how often do we preface it by saying, "I, don't want to judge", or when we are self conscious about our behavior we turn to our friend and say, "don't judge". In the Christian world, we readily quote Jesus' words in Luke 6:37 saying, " Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.". Rarely does one hear a reference to Luke 12:57 "Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?"
So what is judging? Which kind do we avoid and which do we embrace? At the end of someones life we generally say, "He was a good person", while during his life we had a great list of complaints we never mentioned to his face. Often, we hope our friends went to heaven but are left wondering because we didn't want to appear judgmental by having conversations about religion. Rather than quavering in fear, we are called upon to use our discernment. Is it important to do what is right? Than judge rightly and act accordingly. As Christians, we know that right and wrond is not a matter of opinion. God has laid our his standards for holy living in his words and as Christians we are called to hold each other accountable and "sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron." This discernment is not made from the position of an aloof judge, but as a loving friend in a close relationship.

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