In Exodus chapter 18, Jethro advised Moses to appoint judges to assist him in hearing the people’s cases. In America, our President nominates judges to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. The point is that judges are needed in every culture and age. While courts require judges to dispense justice, there is another kind of judging that is harmful rather than beneficial. In fact, Jesus warned His followers not to engage in this kind of judging, not only because it is wrong, but because it provokes a backlash.
Being judgmental is unholy and unhelpful in any setting. Discernment is good but excessive, compulsive judgement has no place among God’s people. Harsh judgments are different from hopeful admonitions. The former hardens your heart. The latter honors your potential. One crushes you. The other changes you.
So what kind of judge are you? Dismissive or respectful? Disparaging or encouraging? Proud or humble? Condescending or constructive? Elders must make judgments to uphold spiritual standards in the church. Christians must judge between right and wrong to lead holy lives. The problem is less about the activity than the attitude. Be careful how you judge.
Aubrey Johnson, Minister