To Judge or Not

An acquaintance of mine recently posted a note on facebook about morality, good and evil, and grace. Her point was that what is determined "moral" by society changes, but God intended for His creation to be good. Even though wickedness exists, He offers redemption through love. Since He is the Creator, He is the Judge. As mere humans, we are to love and not judge.

I agree that society's mores, or the current accepted moral attitudes, change. Yes, at various times in history, Christians were slave owners. People of many religions have engaged in "holy wars," seeking to eliminate those who believe differently. What has been deemed right by religious leadership has not always been right in God's eyes.

As politically correct as so many try to be, the fact is that we all judge. We all have our own ideas of right and wrong and decide whether the behavior of other people match those ideas. The problem is not that human beings judge another person's behavior. The problem is when we proclaim that judgment verbally on someone else and decide in our own minds to classify that person based on their behavior, or worse, discriminate against them or intentionally hurt them because of their behavior.

The job of a courtroom judge is to decide whether what someone did something wrong and what the most effective punishment should be. Even though we all judge what we see as right or wrong, we don't have the right to act as a judge does.

Ultimately, God will judge all people by what is in their hearts and will determine their punishment. Even when it seems the wicked prevail, I believe they will ultimately get what they deserve. Back to the good old proverbs: "The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment" (Proverbs 10:16).

We are responsible to discipline our children and stand up for what is right. If I have an opportunity to act upon what is right and prevent harm or abuse from coming to others, I should do so. In general, however, I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. Whether they do things I agree with or not, God's Word proclaims love for all. If I take on the name of Christ, I am to determine what is right and wrong for myself, and hope my example speaks for itself. Jesus commanded us to love one another, and that should be our primary motivation for all we do.

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