Who are you to judge others?
Well, you’re a Christian. You should be judging. Now, you’ve probably heard other Christians say they do not judge others. Chances are, those loving people are either fooling themselves or aren’t doing a good job.
This train of thought surprises people. The apostle Paul says it plainly, “Are you not to judge those inside” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)? After listening to him, you’re supposed to answer yes.
When it comes to this topic, we often conflate two understandings into one word. You can’t will someone into heaven or hell. There are people you think should be forever with God. Likewise, there are people you are sure will not be. Either way, that’s a decision you don’t get to make and a guess you should stay away from. You’re not qualified to make that decision because you aren’t God. So, you shouldn’t judge.
Luke 6:37 also uses the word condemn. And that helps put the matter into perspective. We can’t condemn someone’s ultimate salvation. Our qualifications are better suited to judging when it comes to our life here. For example, if you think stealing is wrong, you’ll tell someone they’re wrong if they steal something. You’ll judge that what they did was wrong.
We don’t condemn people to eternal punishment, but we do learn to make faithful judgment calls. Faithful judgment calls.
Now, what the church has to watch for are the judgments we pass on those outside the church. That was Paul’s concern. We, too, should reflect more on what that means. We can’t hold those outside the faith to what we know and believe as God’s church.
But, as the body of Christ, we have given one another the burden of judging each other. I need you to watch my life. Correct me, please. I don’t always see when I’m not following faithfully. That’s where your heart and faith help me. Judge what I do, please, by the standard of grace, love and compassion of our Lord Jesus.