Once again we have a word that needs better understanding. When Jesus told us to judge not, that we be not judged, it had a specific meaning and we have misused that. A judge first assesses a person, then decides to either punish or not punish. Jesus said He did not come to judge the world. But He definitely assessed it, didn’t He? The difference then is, He did not penalize them, thus He did not judge them. So it is proper for us to assess all those with whom we come in contact. But it is improper when we put a penalty on them, even if it is only a “hope” they get punished. That is the judging Jesus was telling us to not do.
How could we “judge” the fruit of anyone as we are told to do, if we did not assess them” We don’t have to add a desire for them to be punished, though. Not even wolves in sheep’s clothing. Instead, we are told we should pray for them. In these cases, we must be certain that when we discuss people while assessing them, that it is not gossip, but an honest evaluation of fruit.
Another misuse of the word of “judging” is when someone says something about us, and we accuse them of judging us. When we do this, we don’t look to see if they might be right. Instead, we throw, “Don’t judge me!” back at them to defend against our shame being exposed. This keeps us from being confrontable.
We also need to see another variation of assessing and judging. Prophets are often given assignments from God. God has them assess someone or a ministry, for example. Usually when the shows bad fruit, the prophet must go and warn the leaders of what they see in them. If they will hear and repent, well and good. But if they refuse, then the prophet may be called upon by God to expose them publicly.
Sometimes, a prophet may even be called upon to curse a wolf in sheep’s clothing’s ministry, thus penalizing them, judging them. If he does not, then their blood and the blood of their followers will be on this hands. But before a prophet does such, he had better be certain his own motives are pure, and that he knows this is the will of God. Note that Paul assessed the church couple who were in sexual sin, and told the church to expel them. That was judging. So proper judging is proper.
I write this about judging, because you may be uncomfortable with my writing about God’s anointed. So you must see where I am coming from, to know I am not judging them. In subsequent chapters, I will take this to the extreme, hoping you will become better at judging fruit. Know that in no place in this writing do I want a penalty put on any about whom I talk. Also know that when I talk about them, I’m only going to show their iniquity, not their good side. We already know their good side.
I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!