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Old 01-10-2009, 11:42 AM
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Default Judge Righteous Judgment

Something to edify the body of Christ.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

We’ve each done it. We look, observe, put all the pieces of someone’s life together, and then cast judgment without knowing all of the facts. We instruct others, give unwanted advice and then offer insensitive counsel without knowing all the facts. We rebuke, reprove, and reprimand someone’s behavior without knowing all of the facts. And we often share our false judgment and clouded opinion with others who are not part of the problem or the solution.

The scripture admonishes and warns us to “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment”. When we observe someone’s tired countenance, irritable disposition, or negative attitude, we do not fully know the underlying causes. We think we do, but we don’t. We do not have all of the facts involved in someone’s visible discouragement, depression, defeat, or despondency. We do not know why someone is not upbeat, chipper, and cheerful. We do not understand why they can’t be like we are.

We have no right to assume they have forsaken the Lord and His word. We have no right to assume they have stopped praying. It is wrong to assume they are not growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Wrong judgment and thoughtless criticism has happened to my wife who is my primary caregiver—24/7. I do not expect, or even long for, others to truly know what she does for me every day (as well as many nights), but when someone “judges” the behavior of my loyal and loving wife based on the way things “appear” instead of making “righteous” judgment, my God-given protective senses kick into high gear. I must walk in the Spirit and not the flesh in order to avoid resentment, bitterness, and the need to “get back” at them.

If you are married, you can only “try” to imagine what my wife has experienced every single day for the past 5 years by caring for me. You can “try” to imagine the natural emotional challenges she faces as she watches the man she loves (and has been married to for 26 years) change from day to day with no hopeful prognosis of things ever improving. You can “try” to imagine the normal physical stress related to caring for your spouse each day. You can even boast of “understanding” because you care, or have cared, for your spouse. But be honest, it’s not exactly the same is it? You can “try” but you’ll not understand unless you’re in her shoes.

For this brief moment, I want you to enter into the life of a caregiver by thinking about what an average, healthy person does in the course of just one day. Eat, drink, and use the restroom. Shave, brush your teeth, brush your hair, and use the restroom. Sit, stand, and use the restroom. Think. I require her assistance with everything. Getting in and out of my wheelchair and getting in and out of bed. Her rest is often disturbed at 3 A.M. because she needs to reposition my body or rub my aching legs. Every day. 24/7. I am not gainfully employed and never will be. Do you feel any fear? Perhaps some anxiety? Is it depressing? Are you a little bit discouraged? Are you glad it’s not you? How do suppose you would be holding up?

This is not a whining complaint or a pouting session. I’m certainly not seeking sympathy or someone’s shoulder to cry on. I am not murmuring against my merciful Heavenly Father who sometimes orchestrates, and certainly allows our trials in life to exist. I have not lost courage, confidence, or contentment in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paula and I are closer to each other and to Him than we’ve ever been as a result of “our” suffering and although a lot remains uncertain, we trust God. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” We also know He is not finished writing the chapters and painting the canvas of our lives.

So before you size-up another person’s problem. Before you judge their attitude, disposition, or character flaws. Stop and realize that you probably don’t know everything. It is probably wise to simply listen and not try to fix the problem. It is prudent to “believe the best” and not assume the worst.

By the way, did I fail to mention that I speak from personal experience? God has used the severity of a trial to strip away my critical and judgmental spirit. He has softened my heart so He can mold me into the image of Christ.

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2009, 01:08 PM
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Diligent Diligent is offline
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Very good, Bro. Forrest.

One thing many people sometimes forget is that "but judge righteous judgment" isn't just an option, either. Not only are we expected to not judge according to appearance, we are expected to judge!

What that means is that we must learn how to judge righteously!

Then there's this:
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
Tough stuff, but very important!
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Diligent View Post
Very good, Bro. Forrest.

One thing many people sometimes forget is that "but judge righteous judgment" isn't just an option, either. Not only are we expected to not judge according to appearance, we are expected to judge!

What that means is that we must learn how to judge righteously!

Then there's this:
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
Tough stuff, but very important!

That's right Brandon. I certainly agree with our Biblical responsibility to judge according to sound doctrine. No doubt.

Just so this thread does not get off topic, I am specifically referring to the times we judge according to someone's appearance and are often hasty in our judgment. In many cases its better if we simply refrain from giving any counsel or advice. What I have discovered is that most of the time when people are hurting they simply need a listening ear, a hug, and knowledge that they are in your prayers. This encourages, edifies and also validates that their "feelings" matter.
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:58 PM
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illusionznc illusionznc is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest View Post
That's right Brandon. I certainly agree with our Biblical responsibility to judge according to sound doctrine. No doubt.

Just so this thread does not get off topic, I am specifically referring to the times we judge according to someone's appearance and are often hasty in our judgment. In many cases its better if we simply refrain from giving any counsel or advice. What I have discovered is that most of the time when people are hurting they simply need a listening ear, a hug, and knowledge that they are in your prayers. This encourages, edifies and also validates that their "feelings" matter.
I have not always known what I am about to say in reference to this post, but it is something that has recently been shared with me by the Lord. When you say "What I have discovered is that most of the time when people are hurting they simply need a listening ear, a hug, and knowledge that they are in your prayers", you couldnt be more right. But there is one word to sum all that up. (Love). In my heart, love sums up our entire existence, & under that love come many things, such as compassion, understanding & forgiveness. So when we judge that righteous judgment, we must do so with all the love, compassion, understanding & forgiveness that the Lord God Almighty has shown to us. After all, He loved us so much He died for us! Oh how so very much greater is He that is within us!
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:07 AM
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I cannot imagine the struggles you and your faithful wife go through on a day to day basis. But I can imagine the gratitude you feel towards her, and the glory you give to the Lord for blessing you with a wife who has stuck with you through thick and thin.

I have been blessed immensely by your write-ups Forrest, and I will be praying for you and your family. I also will be praying that the church you attend steps up to do what they can, to help your family bear any burdens that you shouldn't have to bear alone. One thing I love about my Mennonite brethren is that they never leave eachother to deal with the kind of difficulties you are in.

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2 KJV)

Concerning Judgement:

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (1 Corinthians 2:15 KJV)

Which I believes is saying that the man who has been reborn of the Spirit will constantly be judging all things (much to the chagrin of liberal "Christ followers" all across America who are anti-everything judgement) or "discerning all things" and who cannot in word or conversation be righteously judged by unregenerate men or "natural/earthy" men.

Yet it is important to add that we still suffer the constant barrage of fleshy temptations which often lead us to seek self glorification. Unfortunately one such expression of this fact is when we cast judgement in a non-righteous way to elevate ourselves above those who struggle with sins we don't struggle with or with those who appear to be in error and are not. This sort of judgement is destructive and does not edify the Church nor does it glorify God. The Bible is clear on how we should approach a brother or sister in Christ:

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1 KJV) (notice the phrase "ye wich are spiritual" which ties in nicely with 1 Corinthians 2:15)

So as Forrest wrote, we should not judge without knowing that we have all the facts, and we should only resort to rebuking, admonishing, exhortation when we have the well being of our brother in mind. So it's important to remember that everything we do is meant to express our love one for another and to edify one another.

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (Romans 14:19 KJV)

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 KJV)

Let all your things be done with charity. (1 Corinthians 16:14 KJV)

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. (Romans 15:2 KJV)


Much Love in Christ Jesus,
Stephen
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by illusionznc View Post
...But there is one word to sum all that up. (Love). In my heart, love sums up our entire existence, & under that love come many things, such as compassion, understanding & forgiveness. So when we judge that righteous judgment, we must do so with all the love, compassion, understanding & forgiveness that the Lord God Almighty has shown to us. After all, He loved us so much He died for us! Oh how so very much greater is He that is within us!
I'll refer to you as "ZNC" if that's okay.

I appreciate your comments. Love really is key to living the genuine Christian life. There is certainly the misappropriations and misapplications of the Biblical teaching on the doctrine of love. Love, of course, never tolerates or dismisses sin or wrong doctrine. And true love does not neglect the responsibility to preach the unfeigned word of truth, even when it vehemently contradicts a persons attitude or lifestyle. We should all endeavor to be "...speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" (Ephesians 4:15).

We cannot ignore the clear and strong Biblical teaching on love. The word of God places a very high priority on it.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
The words "as I have loved you" takes us into a whole new realm of love, doesn't it? How has Christ loved me? This type of love exceeds my human ability and requires new "spiritual life" in Christ. He must love in and through me. I admit, I cannot, and often do not, genuinely demonstrate Christ-like love for my brothers and sisters in Christ. In no way am I suggesting we get soft on the truth. My hearts desire is to see each of us place the priority that Jesus Christ places on love. May we each simply obey the written word of God.
1 John 2:10-11 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
The key to possessing and demonstrating genuine love centers is in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Love Him, and you'll love others. The clearest and most visible mark of our true discipleship is the "love" we have for one another. May we each honestly examine ourselves and ask, "Do I sincerely love the brethren?" Application of this truth will certainly clean-up a lot of our foolish and carnal judgment.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:01 PM
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Forrest Forrest is offline
 
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Originally Posted by stephanos View Post
I cannot imagine the struggles you and your faithful wife go through on a day to day basis. But I can imagine the gratitude you feel towards her, and the glory you give to the Lord for blessing you with a wife who has stuck with you through thick and thin.

I have been blessed immensely by your write-ups Forrest, and I will be praying for you and your family. I also will be praying that the church you attend steps up to do what they can, to help your family bear any burdens that you shouldn't have to bear alone. One thing I love about my Mennonite brethren is that they never leave eachother to deal with the kind of difficulties you are in.

Much Love in Christ Jesus,
Stephen
Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments and for your prayers brother Stephen.

Quote:
I also will be praying that the church you attend steps up to do what they can, to help your family bear any burdens that you shouldn't have to bear alone.
Our church family is wonderful. They are "doers" of the word not just "hearers".
 

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