Thursday, May 24, 2012

Judgmental or discerning

I had a conversation today with someone that I dearly love.  Towards the end of the conversation I was accused of being judgmental.  Honestly my first thought was, yes, I am absolutely judgmental.  Truth is, is being judgmental really a bad thing?

If the definition of judgmental is the processing of using judgment and the definition of judgment is the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing (according to Webster).  Then this is how I view being judgmental - being choosy and being discerning.   

I think Christians who live a life pleasing to God are absolutely judgmental, but maybe the better word to use is discerning - using good judgment. 

Obviously, Jesus hung out with some bad people - the lowest of the low, the worst of the sinners.  But the key point here is he didn't join them in their sin.  He was "judgmental" if you will.  He called out their sin like the woman at the well.  He called out the Pharisees time and time again.

I realize the choices I make about my family are unpopular and many people look at us like we crazy weirdos but as much as I love those people I am not accountable to them for my actions, I am accountable to God for my actions.

And I absolutely need to be more understanding and I need to figure out how to speak the truth in love.  When people accuse me of being judgmental I'm just not that offended.  Hold me to a higher standard, make me be better than I am.  

In Matthew 10:34-35 Jesus himself says he came to divide people not to bring peace. 
"If we are going to follow Jesus and have Him truly be our Lord then there will be times when people who do not follow Him will not understand us. There will be times when they will angry with us, hurt by us, argue with us. We must realize that when we follow Jesus we become citizens of His Kingdom. We become exiles in our own communities. We just don’t exactly fit anymore. That misfit will divide us from others. But it need not make us people who lash out against those who are different from us. Paul tells us in Romans 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men”. By it’s very nature our following of Jesus puts us at odds. But in spite of that reality, we are to do all that we possibly can to bridge the gap and be reconciled in Christ.
Yes, by the very nature of who Jesus is, people will be at odds with one another. But also by the very nature of His death on the Cross, his Resurrection, and Ascension, Jesus reconciles people to one another and to Himself. That reconciliation brings us closer to one another than we ever could be without Him. Out role in that is to live out the Gospel with as much passion and devotion as possible. " (Provocative Christian)
 Those are just my thoughts for today.  Do with them what you will.  Just don't be judgmental, just kidding.



  1. Thanks for this post- I needed it. I was up for a long time last night thinking and praying about my judgemental attitude towards some people, as well as my legitmate fears about this group of people. It's tough, but I think you are right. We DO need to be practicing GOOD JUDGEMENT. And you are right, Jesus did not particpate in the SIN- but met the sinners where they were. I really need to email you about what I'm dealing with- perhaps you could help me. I can't really discuss it as a comment on your blog :) Nothing too serious- just stuff.

  2. This is the "nut" of it, Gretchen. Non-christians (and unfortunately many Christians) substitute the definition of "condemn" for judgement. We ARE told to be discerning, to call a spade a spade and to hold others of the faith to the standards of the Lord. To too many people it sounds like condemnation, legalism and intolerance, and they are quick to point it out. I think it's because their own toes are getting stepped on. And I as well welcome people telling me where I may be straying from the standard, but am frankly tired of hearing, "but we aren't to judge others." Ahem, according to the scriptures you've quoted, we don't judge others, we judge their behavior, and respond accordingly. If we need to run from them we run. If we need to point out their transgression, we do that as well. Yes, yes yes! Let's get on with it!

  3. Love this post!! Yes, we are to tell others of where or what they may need guidance in, but we also need to do it with love and gentleness (2 Timothy 2:24-26, Galatians 6:1, Titus 3:2-7) I think judgement/judgemental is a word that is used incorrectly a lot of the times. There is a big difference in being judgemental and letting someone know (with gentle honesty) about something they are doing or saying... And it always helps if we remember our shortcomings as well- to stay humble...


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