When God has been so patient and gracious with us, would we dare to show disgust?
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance (Romans 2:1–4, NIV).
In this context, judgment isn’t acknowledging someone else has done something good or bad, right or wrong. We are called to discern, and discernment needs to evaluate others’ actions sometimes. You used discernment (I hope) to decide who you were going to marry or what friendships you would encourage for your young children.
Judgment involves a superior attitude. Read the passage from Romans again and notice the link between judgment and condemnation.
God has the right to judge and condemn because He is above us. He does not sin. We do not have the right to condemn others because we are not above them. The same sins that prompt our condemnation of others are often hidden in our own lives, even if the manifestation is different. Another word for this judging attitude is self-righteousness.
Have you thought or said any of the following?
- I would never do that.
- He got what he deserved.
- Maybe now she’ll learn her lesson.
- I hope he suffers for what he did.
- I’m not too bad, compared to her.
- Well, at least I didn’t do that.
- He calls himself a Christian?
These types of thoughts are warning signs. When we catch ourselves thinking along these lines or taking a conversation that direction, we need to stop. We need to examine ourselves, and we need to leave the judgment to the rightful Judge, our Lord.
God’s patience with us is a precious gift. Let’s not stomp on it and throw it back in His face.