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How To Judge Righteously And Still Be Friends With Your Neighbors

What a conundrum it has become for Christians to solve the riddle of how to judge righteously. After all we live in a day and age where every thing seems to be out of place. Christians often realize they need to speak up, but the accusations of intolerance are quickly swung at us like snowballs if we point out that something is wrong. Many times we end up hiding in our shells like scared tortoises rather than face the heat. However, there are some Christians that choose to thrust forward, and they are bombarded even further with accusations of self-righteousness and being told to look at the beam in their own eye (Matt 7:5). So how does one judge righteously in today’s world while retaining their sanity, and at the same time maintain positive relationships with their neighbors?

Understand The Qualifications

When reading the scripture in Matt 7:2-5 it is important to identify that the scripture is saying more than just to look at the beam in your own eye. This is also a scripture of qualification for judging. In fact, it starts out by saying that, “we will be judged on the measure of which we judge,” which is both a qualification and a warning. So you can judge; just make sure you’re in a position to do so.

Know Your Rights

1 Cor 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Wow, what a statement. As Christians we are girded with the right to judge. Not only can we judge matters that pertain to the world, but one day we will also judge angels. Talk about a high-calling. So not only are we “qualified”, but we are also “called” to judge.

Let God’s Word Do The Judging

Psa 119:105-106 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

These are two very important scriptures that point that the word is the way to go when judging righteously. Just as Jesus used the three, “It is written…” statements in the wilderness to parry Satan’s attempts to tempt Him, we must use, “It is written…” statements to discern life’s matters. You see, people can argue with our thoughts or opinions, but they can’t argue with what God has said.

Love Thy Neighbor

Matt 22:39 … Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Jesus once told a story of a good Samaritan that helped a man he found beaten badly along a roadside. He not only rescued the man, but took him to an inn and made sure his needs were cared for (Luke 10:29-37). We must do the same when we see people harming themselves with their decisions. We need to gently pick them up and care for the wounds that have been inflicted. Often times, Christians get in heated battles with people they’re judging righteously, and instead of getting a positive response, they just end up getting retaliation. Be gentle, just like the Good Samaritan was with the man who was left for dead along the roadside.

Conclusion

Judging is part of being a Christian, but we must do so righteously. Trying to go outside the word or enter a heated confrontation usually doesn’t do much good, so it is better to take a “soft approach” and support it with scripture. Allow God to work in the offending person’s heart, and you may very well find that they will listen to you. They may not even see it as judging at all and you will still be friends with your neighbors. Thank you for reading and God bless.

About Joel Bauer

Joel Bauer
Joel M. Bauer is a 45-year-old U.S. Army Veteran from Dunn, NC, which is just outside of Raleigh. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, he attended school at Taylor University, a Christian liberal arts school, in Fort Wayne, IN, where he received his BS in social work and psychology. He has worked in such places as a homeless shelter, a community based treatment center for severe mental illnesses, a school for troubled students, and other social service agencies. His current endeavor is to build The Bottom Line website into a site that inspires both Christians and non-Christians alike, and brings glory to God.

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