During the course of our lives, all of us find ourselves in situations where we must judge various situations. We must judge the behaviors of other people in order to determine whether they would be suitable friends for us. If we hold a managerial position within a company, then we judge whether to be lenient or punish a subordinate for displaying a particular behavior.
Perhaps one of the biggest dilemmas Christians face is knowing when to admonish other people for their wrongdoings, and when to simply pray for the wrongdoer, instead.
Nowadays, many people quote verse 1, from the scripture below, when confronted about their actions. They go on to say that only God can judge them.
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
In this passage, Jesus is advising us not to be hypocritical when addressing the actions of others.
He uses the analogy of a person, with a hindrance in their own eye, attempting to critique another person for the blemish in their eye. Christ’s main point is if we choose to admonish another person for their fault, and we are currently guilty of that same fault or a similar one, whatever punishment we deliver to others will be delivered back to us by him. Jesus then urges that we deal with our fault, prior to addressing the fault of another person, to avoid being a hypocrite.
A pastor discovers that one of his deacons is committing the sin of adultery, and removes the deacon from his position at the church, however the pastor, himself, secretly looks at pornography. Yes, the pastor is correct in addressing the sins of the deacon, however it is hypocritical for the pastor to punish the deacon for his sexual sin, while the pastor is equally as guilty of committing a sexual sin, himself.
Now let’s be clear, all of us should be humble enough to receive constructive criticism from anyone, as long as it is Biblically based. The key thing here is that our words and advice will have more influence on others, if we are a doer of what we tell others.
Jesus makes it clear that when we do judge matters, our choices should be Biblically based.
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
The Bible also advises us not to prejudge a matter, but to instead do our best to hear the whole story first.
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
SO SHOULD I CONTINUE TO ADMONISH OTHERS, AND WITNESS TO THEM?
Prior to ascending back to heaven, Jesus commissioned his disciples to carry the Gospel all over the world, and assures them that He will be with them always(Matthew 28:18-20). It is now the responsibility of every born again Christian to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the unsaved, and let them know that the wages of their sins is death(an eternity in Hell), however God’s gift is eternal life in Heaven, courtesy of them placing their faith in Jesus Christ.
The issue with people saying that only God/Jesus can judge them, is that when we stand before Jesus it will be too late to repent.
II Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
The Sheep and Goat Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46)
The White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15 – This is where Jesus will address every person who has rejected salvation)
Below I have listed several scriptures that offer guidance on how we should admonish others, and comfort to us when we face rejection.
I Thessalonians 5:
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
II Timothy 4:1-5
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.