Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tonight and tomorrow our sermon focus is on Matthew 7 -- penetrating teaching by Jesus about judgment and judging -- ours and God's.

As I reviewed Jesus' command against judging other believers inappropriately, I was reminded of a series of questions it would be good for me to ask before I negatively pass judgment on another Christian's character or action.

Do I know ALL the facts?
How do I know whether or not I know ALL the facts?
Have I interpreted the all the facts correctly?
How do I know that I have interpreted all the facts correctly?
Can I see his/her heart/motive?
Is my judging necessary, kind, and loving?
If I share this with anyone else, will it follow the procedure of Matthew 18:15-18?
Will my sharing this with anyone else help to build up the person with the problem or will it tear them down?
What is my motive in making this judgment -- helping the person, or putting them down?
Have I specifically and persistently prayed for the person in the area of concern?
Have I examined my own life for the same or related problems?
Am I diligently dealing with the problems in my own life?
Do I want others to judge me the way I am judging this person?
Do I want God to judge me this way?
Is this the way God has reacted to my sins?
Will others see God’s love in the way I respond to these faults?
Have I gone to the person first to check the facts and, if necessary, to loving help them overcome the problem.

Perhaps the reason Jesus immediately followed His instructions (on not judging inappropriately, Matthew 7:1-5, and on making discerning judgments, 7:6) with encouraging lessons about prayer (Matthew 7:7-11) is because we so desperately need His wisdom and help to obey these commands. I am so prone to making wrong judgments. Wrong judgment is an epidemic in many churches. "Lord, help us in everything, to do to others what we would have them do to us" (Matthew 7:12).