Judging Others

Originally published on BibleJournal.net

Today’s reading: Genesis 44; Mark 14; Job 10; Romans 14

Judging Others

Throughout the Bible we are told, warned and even rebuked not to judge others. Here in Romans chapter 14 we are again commanded not to judge our fellows. This time Apostle Paul takes a logical approach as to explaining our deficiency in ability to judge others. It is almost as if he hopes to stop us from even going there. Telling us “you will fail at it, let me explain.”   

Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. -Romans:14:4

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. -Romans:14:13-14

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. -Romans:14:17

For whatsoever is not of faith is sin. -Romans:14:23b

C.S Lewis puts it this way:

That is why Christians are told not to judge others. We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it.

The truth here is, in my estimation, that we were not built to weigh how the Spirit’s call applies to another and therefore are not capable of judging another. The Spirit moves in one direction but calls out to those in many places. These places are not physical but spiritual and so we, only perceiving the physical of another, can not judge. God may we realize this truth and may it serve as a deterrent to save us, so that we might be forgiven.

Further study: consider how this truth also applies comparison and jealousy.

Comparison and Jealousy

When you have drunk of it you forget forever all proprietorship in your own works.  You enjoy them just as if they were someone else’s: without pride and without modesty.

C.S. Lewis

Empty Dark Abstract Concrete Room Perspective Interior

Comparison. I am better. A deception at its core. And jealousy. They do not deserve. Both empty indeed.

To compare and say we are this or that as measured against another is an ignorant quest for happiness that we have all fallen to, I am afraid. One day it produces good feelings and the next the most horrible. At its core is a lie that we actually own something. That we or they are responsible for a good. When in truth it is all God.

We are a body. Hands and feet and eyes and ears. One day the hand is called up and it feels more useful than the foot. Tomorrow when the foot is needed — the hand feels less important. When sight is needed should the eyes count themselves better than the ears?  What then if it is dark tomorrow?

The truth is humility. Every useful thing we have is given to us anyways. As is our fellows. If you have a gift of generosity, then give generously in secret and thank God. If another has a gift, the truth is joy. It is most beautiful to see another made useful by God’s goodness.

Jealousy sets in when we do not trust the measure. We think an outcome not fair.  That the judge, the boss, the coach did not have all the information and so the decision was not correct. Unfair.

We are a body. If the head calls up the hand in combat and the foot feels a kick was needed the foot becomes jealous. Jealous and distracted. Less useful in fact. The hand and the foot and the arm and the leg answer to the head.

The truth is justice. Who is just? What is truth? I believe God is. And He will sort the deserved from the empty. We are to follow Him and that is that. He is faithful to follow and we will do well to trust in His judgement.

Comparison with jealousy is an ugly distracted and paralyzed way. How much better to be thankful, enjoy, and trust.

 

-A takeaway from The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.