Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
(Matthew 7:1, 2)
|Gustave Doré (1832-1883), Woman Taken in Adultery (detail).|
We all remember these words from Jesus. He taught that we shouldn’t judge less we be judged.
However, we can’t go through life without making decisions. We have to make judgments to move ahead: what kind of friends should I have, how to keep my body clean (or not), what lifestyle do I choose to live, they are all judgment choices.
These same verses are written a bit differently in the JST:
“Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged; but judge righteous judgment.”Now the question is what is righteous judgment? How do we make a righteous judgment? Can we as mere mortals make such determination?
The best way we can provide righteous judgment is by assessing the situation without judging the individual.
The Lord has told us:
“Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shall thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5)If I put someone down, without call, showing bad feelings, that’s probably not a righteous judgment. If someone comes to me asking for an opinion about a life matter, and I talk to this person with love and compassion, weighing in pros and cons, presenting the gospel in the conversation, that would be considered righteous judgment, because I didn’t demean the person’s bad choices (if there were any).
Something comes to mind about this. May I remind you of the situation between the Pharisees, Christ and the adulterous woman? I just love the part where Jesus says:
“Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11)Christ showed compassion on her situation. He didn’t say ‘I forgive you’ to her as He’d said to other people, simply because she hadn’t shown remorse or repentance yet. By telling her ‘sin no more’ He was giving her a chance for repentance. In this instance, He showed us how to judge righteously.
My prayer is that we may all have enough charity in our hearts to judge the way the Lord has taught us.
As always, we welcome your comments.