Judging Others & Being Judged
Romans 14:10 (ESV) -- Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”
“Don’t judge me!”
“You’re judging others and the Bible says don’t do that!”
These are things you will hear people in our culture say today. Judging people is seen as bad. Christians are told we shouldn’t judge the words, actions, and lives of other people. There are passages that warn us about judgment. Our text today is one of those.
Paul writes, “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” Passages like this often get pulled from their context to make the case that Christians should never assess or criticize the lives or beliefs of other believers. But the context of this passage is giving us specific insights into Paul’s words.
The book of Romans deals with the conflict within the church regarding Jewish and Gentile Christians. Many of the Jewish Christians had been circumcised and practiced remembrance of special days from the Jewish calendar. Their diet was often in accordance with the Mosaic law. However, the Gentile converts did not follow most of these practices. This caused many of the Jewish Christians to look down on the Gentile Christians. They judged them. It caused them to be looked at and treated as less than true believers.
We are not to look down in judgment on Christian brothers and sisters who have some differences of worship approach, dress, buildings, or even convictions about things like alcohol consumption, tattoos, or food choices. But one thing we are told to do is to preach the gospel, disciple people, and proclaim the truth of God’s Word in the world. Those things alone will pull us in opposition from the culture. Getting into those issues will always deal with things like sin and ungodliness. The charge of being judgmental is usually leveled at believers because we are standing on God’s Word or speaking on what honors God. We should not be deterred by accusations of being judgmental. There is a kind that God forbids. And there is a kind that God commands.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why do people react so aggressively against being judged?
- What is the difference between biblical judgment and unbiblical judgment?
- How does this passage help you to understand the grace we should have toward other believers?
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