Sins of the Spirit #3: Judgmentalism
People who know nothing about the Bible or about Jesus usually know two words that Jesus said: “Judge not…” (Mt 7:1). This is a verse that the unsaved world really likes. Jesus prohibits us from judging others. That means that we cannot criticize others for their behavior. No matter what people may do, we must keep our mouths shut and say nothing about it. This verse prohibits believers from being critical or condemning anyone.
However, what most people do not know is that Jesus says in that same context, “Judge righteous judgment” (Jn 7:24). So there must be a form of judgment that is appropriate and a form that is inappropriate.
One of the biggest criticisms against Christians is that they are judgmental. They look down at others, criticize others, and condemn others. Our world today does not like it when Christians condemn the immorality so prevalent today. Many in the world are aggressively critical of Christianity, but when we criticize or expose the evil deeds of unsaved people, we are accused of being judgmental.
What did Jesus mean by his statement, “Judge not”? Do we have the right to judge others? If we judge others, is that wrong? Are we being judgmental when we condemn the immorality in our culture or when we rebuke someone for his moral failure? Is it possible to judge appropriately?
We are continuing in our series on the Sins of the Spirit, and today we’re looking at the sin of judgmentalism. Since I’m categorizing judgmentalism as a sin, it’s obvious that there is a sinful form of judging, but there is also a righteous form of judgment. If we want to avoid the sin of judgmentalism, we must know the difference between being judgmental and exercising righteous judgment.