Saturday, March 08, 2008

Judgement of a Personal Nature - Mar 8

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)

Is there a more misconstrued piece of scripture than Matthew 7:1? How quickly they fail to mention the next verse!

Judging According to the World's Wisdom

Whereas Man judges by what he sees on the outside, God judges the heart of the individual. Many use this verse out of context, justifying their bad behaviour. When sin is uncovered in their lives, they say 'Judge not lest ye be judged!'. I'm quite sure Jesus did not say this with the idea that it can be used as a cover for illegal, unethical and immoral activity. It was never to be used as a banner of ignorance in the face of overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing.

Judging According to the God's Wisdom

Looking at verse two, we are given a warning. By the same measure we judge others we too shall be judged. The use of gossip, slander and whispering campaigns are forbidden. As I've stated before, free speech is meant to be used as whistle-blower protection. It is not meant to be used as a shield to say all manner of false accusations and then hide behind the skirt of the law. Free speech was never meant as an absolute. You say it, you'd better be able to back that statement up. Neither God nor human law allows us to abdicate personal responsibility.

So is it OK to Judge Someone?

Yes it is. Nowhere does the scripture say we are expressly prohibited from judging someone ever, ever, ever. You ARE allowed to judge someone provided you've done your due diligence. Jumping to conclusions, false accusations and hot-headedness can cause irreperable damage to a relationship and leave long-lasting emotional scars.

It Might Be Not For You To Judge Right Now!

That tends to be our first emotional response. Nothing wrong with emotions mind you, indeed they are a vital part of our human nature. However, timing is critical. It may be for you to judge but at a later time and date. Or it may be for someone else who is eminently more qualified than you are to judge (be it now or later). Which brings me to my next point:

The Self-Appointed Expert: A Frankenstein Monster

I doubt there is nothing more contemptible then the SAE. What Godzilla did to Tokyo was kind compared to the destruction that self-appointed experts leave in their wake. If we are sick we seek the advice of a doctor. If we have a toothache we consult a dentist. If we are in legal trouble we hire a lawyer. Why do we seek out their advice? I can think of two reasons:

Practical experience. You don't want someone who is learning on the job. You want an expert who has seen this before and knows how to react.

They've done their research. Technology and regulations are forever in flux. It makes sense to ask someone who is up to date. Constant reading is the burden every professional must bear.

In my experience it's not so much the unsolicited advice that bedevils us, it's the unqualified advice that annoys us. Why then do we persist in offering judgements on things we know nothing about? We fancy ourselves as knowledgable but our actions and words betray our ignorance. Everybody has an opinion, but not every opinion matters.

A Divine Warning

If you judge righteously, you will be accorded righteousness. But beware! If you judge wickedly you yourself will be accorded wickedness:

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (Revelation 22: 11)

Johnny Cash

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