Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Forsaking Our Judgment Robe

As many of you know, I have been involved in the Beth Moore Bible study “Living Beyond Yourself” which examines the fruit of the Spirit. Periodically, I have been sharing bits and pieces of it (though I wish I could share the whole thing! I encourage you to do this study for yourself because there is so much to it!).

I’ve decided to share some more of the study because this particular section that I am reading is something I think we all could stand to examine and get clarification on! I’m talking about the fruit “patience.“

While going into depth about this fruit, Beth talks about judging, condemning, and how to forgive. Does that seem like a strange link? One doesn’t really think of judgment when the word “patience” comes to mind right? Well, as Beth points out, where judgment exists, impatience abounds!! She said that judgment is the very opposite of patience. To BE patient is to DELAY judgment; just like God does with us. Because of His mercy and love, He is patient with us and delays punishment because He wishes to give us all a chance to repent and do the right thing. Patience cannot exist without mercy.

Here are the reasons why we shouldn’t judge; according to the Bible and as outlined by Beth Moore:

SCRIPTURES: Romans 2:1-5, Matthew 7:1-5, James 4:11-12, John 8:14-18

REASONS NOT TO JUDGE:

1. When we judge others, we cause God to be harder on us
2. We do many of the same things we condemn in others.
3. We do not know the whole truth.
4. We are mere humans.
5. When we judge others, we are judging God.
6. God’s judgment is always righteous. Ours is tainted by the flesh.
7. We risk application of the same type of judgment to ourselves.
8. We cannot judge the speck of sawdust in another’s eye because of the planks in our own.
9. “There is only one lawgiver and judge”
10. Only God has noble purpose in His judgment.
11. Just like Christ’s, our judgment would have to be completely consistent with God’s He must agree with us for our judgment to be valid.


To elaborate, I will state some of the things that she said for each reason. Reason one being that when we judge others, we only condemn ourselves and invite the Lord’s discipline.

For reason two, she gives this perfect example: “…we are quick to judge sexual sin; yet few of us have not transgressed in at least some area of sexual sin. If not physically, mentally. We often sit on the judgment seat as if to determine and compare degrees of sin. Judgment bears hypocrisy.”

Next, she points out the fact that God bases His judgments on truth. We as humans don’t always do that. Often, we have incomplete facts because we don’t see the whole situation. Even more so because of the fact that we cannot read minds or hearts like God can.

That goes in conjunction with reason four which states that we are merely human. She uses the verse from Isaiah 29:16 which says: “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He did not make me‘? Can the pot say of the potter, ‘He knows nothing‘?” Beth said, “We must withstand all temptation to assume God’s job!”

Furthermore, in reason five, we are judging GOD by judging others! How? Beth explains this perfectly: “Our judgment reveals contempt for the riches of God’s patience (Romans 2:4). To judge why God won’t bring a speedy punishment to those who mock or despise Him is not our responsibility. To all of us, His long-suffering has been our salvation. Eternity is a long time; the effects are irreversible. God desires to give every chance for the sinner to say ‘yes.’ I once heard Dr. Adrian Rogers say, ‘Time is not nearly as important to God as timing.’”

Reason six reminds us that while God’s judgments are consistently and always righteous, ours are tainted by the flesh. They are “colored by our attitudes, our pasts, our personalities, and our positions. Only God is the perfectly righteous Judge.”

In point seven, we see the danger of judging as applied to ourselves. What we measure out will be measured back! Forget the “Karma” crap! I absolutely detest it when people talk about “Karma” because God is the one who instituted the concept of reaping what you sow (Galatians 6:7). We need to treat others the way we want to be treated and love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). If we just go around judging instead of loving, then expect that which you dish out!

Next, of course, we have the infamous “plank in your eye” point. Beth says: “We can’t judge righteously because our sight is hindered by our own sin.” How can anyone with a sin nature judge correctly? It’s impossible! And, since we all have a sin nature and no one is perfect or righteous (Romans 3:10) no one can accurately and righteously judge!

Reasons nine and ten affirm that God is the only judge! “There’s simply no room on the bench!” You can’t sit beside Him and help Him do His job! Besides, what is our real intent in judging compared to God’s? Beth says: “We judge to make ourselves feel righteous in comparison. Whether or not the thought is conscious, most judgments boil down to this justification: ‘At least I don’t do that!’ God’s judgment is not based on His ‘ego.’ It is a practical action by which He determines the fate of all humanity.”

And finally, Beth explains reason eleven this way: “We judge by ‘human standards’ (John 8:15) and, therefore, possess little heavenly perspective. To make a valid judgment, the second testimony cannot by our best friend or neighbor…it must be God.”

In conclusion, Beth reminds us that it’s “easier to be clay than the potter.” Judgment isn’t our job, and would be one we are grossly under-qualified for if we had the job! Judgment isn’t a kind thing to do or to have done to you, so why participate in it? We need to show the same kindness, mercy, and forgiveness for others as God has displayed towards us. “If He is patient with us and He has no sin, how patient must we be toward others with whom we share the same sin? Judgment strangles patience and grieves the Holy Spirit.”

Now that I have shared about judgment, feel free to read the next blog that I will post which deals with mercy and forgiveness. Judgmental behavior can be overcome!! Grace and peace to all of you!!

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