Tag Archives: Judgment

Are You Playing Judge

 

ARE YOU PLAYING JUDGE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brothers’ way.

Romans 14:12-13 NKJV

 

If the truth sets us free, why are some Christians still in bondage? Christ’s death and resurrection broke the power of Satan, sin, and death. Some of us still carry a ball and chain around our legs.

I never considered myself legalistic. That described those who condemned me for wearing pants, cutting my hair, and wearing jewelry.

Then came one of our coldest winters. Even with my warm-natured blood, my wardrobe consisted of flannel shirts and flannel-lined jeans. One Saturday evening, we faced attending church the next morning in single digit temperatures. Would Jesus really mind if I wore my flannel-lined jeans to church?

I posted that question on Facebook, and the comments were astonishing. Most people noted that God looks on our hearts and not at our clothes. Coming in as the second most popular answer was the many ladies who regularly wear jeans to church.

I dress up when I go to church because I am going to see the King. As children, we always dressed in our Sunday best for church, but here was an entire generation who had no problems wearing jeans to worship.

Romans chapter 14 might sound archaic at first but take some time and study it. Look at another translation (another ball and chain we drag around).

While Paul wrote to the Romans about eating meat and observing holy days, we could replace those words with the things that bind us today, such as dress, length of hair, and reading other translations of the Bible.

Yes, there are certain outfits you should not wear to church. Some clothing should not be worn anywhere by Christians. Modesty is the key. Also, certain translations of God’s Word are blasphemous, but overall, we are enslaving ourselves.

Furthermore, we judge those who don’t do as we do. God is our judge. I may have convictions about what I wear to worship, but I have crossed the line when I place my convictions on others.

Forgive me for judging you because you did not share my convictions. I wore my flannel jeans! Denim did not interfere with my worship, but you will rarely find me in anything other than a dress or skirt at church. I pray I will never pass judgment on your fashion statement again.

This passage is not so much about dress or food. It is about Christian liberty, the law of love. My convictions are simply that -my convictions, not your convictions.

Examine yourself. Are you dragging around a ball and chain from which Christ has set you free? Are you placing your convictions on others? Prayerfully ponder these questions.

Lord Jesus, thank You for setting us free. Help us realize when we bind ourselves. Convict us about judging others. Forgive us. In the name of Christ, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Romans 14.

HIKING THE TRAIL

After reading Romans 14, ask the Lord to reveal the truth to you, applying it to your heart.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Walking the Thin Line of Judgment

WALKING THE THIN LINE OF JUDGMENT

By Carolyn Dale Newell

“Judge not, that you be not judged.”

Matthew 7:1 (NKJV)

This is one of the most misunderstood verses in Scripture. People use it without knowing the true meaning. There are two ways we can judge someone: discernment and criticism. There is a thin line between the two. We must be careful to know the difference.

Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Christians must discern, or make righteous judgments.

A few verses below our focal verse, Jesus said that we should not give anything holy to dogs, nor should we cast pearls before swine (Matt. 7:6). That requires discernment. We need to differentiate between holy and unholy.

Further down in the same chapter, Jesus spoke about false prophets. He said, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matt. 7:16-17).

We are fruit inspectors, and we should lovingly rebuke a sinning brother as directed in Matthew chapter 18. With witnesses and in love.

The judgment we must abstain from is self-righteous criticism. In verses 3-4, Jesus gives the example of trying to remove a speck out of a brother’s eye while having a plank in his own eye. Although the plank can be any sin, it likely refers to self-righteousness. “…remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:5). Clean up your own life and then you can make righteous judgments. In particular, remove all holier-than-thou thinking. Refrain from hypocrisy.

As David said, “Create in me a clean heart, O God…then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You” (Ps. 51:10a, 13).

Prayerfully consider whether your judgment is one of loving discernment or harsh criticism. Never judge hastily, and always have all the information before making a judgment. Never play God nor allow yourself to become a gossip. Always show mercy, just as God has been merciful to us.

Heavenly Father, thank You for mercy. Help me to be merciful to others, and help me distinguish the differences between discernment and criticism. Cleanse me of all self-righteousness. For I know this is Your will for me. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Matthew 7:1-6, and 15-20, Matthew 18:15-20.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Examine yourself. Have you neglected making righteous judgments because you were fearful of judging? Have you been critical of someone? Has it turned into gossip? Seek God’s wisdom in these areas.

Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.