You can't always know anothers motives but you can see their actions.Unfortunately when someone has blantantly done some wrong and you simply exort them to not do it again or just simply tell them what the Bible says about what they have done and they call foul and say you are judging them.It isn't judging to simply point out an error.If you are making a public mockery of the person then YES it is judging,especially if you didn't go to them first and at least make them aware of what they were doing.
When you KNOW you have struck a cord is when the person lashes back at you.A true Christian will be broken and will listen to your warning.Someone who isn't a Christian,well you just simply tell them what God says about it in the Bible,no judging on your part,just sharing knowledge.If they blast back at you and you lash back at them,THEN you are judging.Judging has been giving a wrong meaning by the world
I tend to stick with what Christ says, "Why do you point out the speck in your brother's eye when you have a log in your own?" That's foundational... and before we can even attempt to pull the speck out of another's eye, we must first remove our log, which is no easy task.
@Somefishytales - interesting. I wish it were that easy though. I think people get personally offended by others actions when they 'sin'. Maybe its just where I am right now... my circle of friends... church etc. But I think its gotten out of hand. Also, I think people have terrible understandings of scripture and sin. One denomination says this is sin another holds you to and Old Testament law that was listed along side not trimming your beard. Its one things to discern right and wrong for yourself. Its just a whole other game when you are deciding what scripture says to hold someone else to that standard.
We all have different convictions, and even at different times in our lives... as we grow and change there are things we learn are not good for us that maybe we didn't feel that same way about before, or even, things we realize were more legalistic that truly sinful.
Maybe its bothering me so much because I'm in a transition spiritually and sin really seems to be a whole new ball game to me scripturally speaking.
I can see where you're coming from. I also believe the bible says to judge and not judge. I do believe there are times to judge but like you, I try to be compassionate when possible. It just depends on the situation. I don't know if there's something specific you're referring to.
@jmallory - And when does one know he has gotten the log out of his own eye?If man is a born sinner then it's impossible for him to be able to tell anyone anything about their sin without being called judgemental.I just don't think that's the true context of Jesus saying that.If someone thinks he has gotten the log out of his eye and can help his brother get the spec out of his,he can look like he is bragging and better than his brother.There is nothing wrong with showing someone what the Bible says about what they have done.You can show them and not be judgemental.Their conscience will judge them,it isn't you.Just a thought on it.
@xXrEMmUsXx - When you come up against a legalist,there isn't much you can say or do.They don't understand grace.Grace we have thru Christ is the only reason any Christian can rebuke anyone who is sinning.
@Somefishytales - I think there is a difference between judgment and accountability. I don't believe it's right to tell someone who is not a big believer of the Bible that their actions or words are unbiblical, because really, they just don't care. That can cause more harm than good. But if a Christian acts in an unBiblical manner (which is often up for debate on what "Unbiblical" actually is) than grace, I believe it can be ok to let someone know. That's how I see it anyway. The biggest thing is, is we always have our own log to work on. That is why Jesus used the term "Log" for the one judging, and not "speck". It's to illustrate that we have way too much to work on before we think about "fixing" anyone else. :)
@jmallory - I agree,but the part about telling a non Christian what God says about sin is simply witnessing.If they aren't told what they are doing is wrong,how will they know it's wrong.If you constantly beat them over the head with it then yes,it's being judgemental.If you are admonishing a non believer in love how can it be harmful?I cannot anyone of God's chosen NOT to come to Him.I can be held acountable for not sharing the Gospel truthfully to one who God had chosen not to open their eyes,but I can't cause one He has chosen to not chose Him.Does that make since?
@Somefishytales - but the gospel is LOVE... not fear of hell because of sin. you actually sound very compassionate in your responses... I wish all correction came from the place I think you are coming from.
I understand correction is necessary, and I suppose in order for one to correct they have to first judge/discern if the action was wrong.
I think we talk about how we are doing things out of love, but really we have no idea what that love should actually look like so judgement and criticism are taking the place of admonishing and encouraging people with compassion.
@xXrEMmUsXx - If you see someone drowning are you going to sit on the side of the pool/lake and encourage them to swim or are you going to jump in and help them? Sometimes encouraging and admonishing has to go farther and it may cause pain to you too.Thats love!
@xXrEMmUsXx - I would add something to that jumping in part.If you just throw them a life raft,it won't always work because they are in such distress they may not see it.If you jump in in your own strength,they are most likely going to pull you under with them.If you take a life raft with you,you can SHOW it to them so they can grab on.Showing them love sometimes means jumping in with them,but YOU have to have God's help (the life raft) This may have been like a parable but I hope it made since to you.
@Somefishytales - In theory, I agree with your statement. The reality that I've experienced though is that by using the Bible to correct an individual who is not a Christian, it has the tendency to take them farther from Jesus Christ. I am very Wesleyan in my approach to witnessing. And witnessing isn't witnessing at all if I'm only interested in correcting behavior, and not interested in leading them to Christ. That's my approach; subtly leading others to know the Christ that I know. When they know Christ, then they will see that their behavior needs to change because they are then allowing the Holy Spirit to lead; not only their conscience. Does this make sense?
@jmallory - It very much makes sense and I agree with it.I hope I didn't come off as thinking correcting behavior was how to win others to Christ.I guess its one of those things like works,faith without works is dead,but works alone does not save a man.They HAVE to see Christ and His love and compassion in your own life before they will believe what you say.I am in the Reformed crowd and I guess a lot consider me a Calvanist but I don't guess I go that far.John Calvin had some wonderful teaching of passages of scripture but on some he may take too far,but then again it may not so much be him that have taken it too far but those in his camp that have taken what he said and expounded what THEY think he meant.Love and compassion for others is the key.If you don't do everything out of love,chances are great you will not be a good witness.
Reading the comments and everything......It is tricky, because Jesus also said to judge with righteous judgement. We were talking in Sunday School about this and one person said something really awesome. he said that for the Christian it is a balance between love and truth. If you go too far on the love side, you will get away from truth, and if you go over too far on the truth side, you will get away from love.
"Speaking the truth IN love" - that is key. Sometimes, there is no way around being harsh about it, when people are so blinded by their deception. They desperately need someone to have the courage to just tell them the truth instead of enabling their own deadly behavior.
Since Jesus also said that they would persecute you, I think it is key to remember that also - they crucified Him. If you are so loving that everyone loves you and no one hates you, you may not be telling enough truth. But if everyone hates you , you probably don't have enough love.
In the end you must ONLY worry about what God thinks of your behavior, and base it off of that. And that alone.
@Somefishytales - well, I agree with all of this, but I am not sure how it pertains to judgement... seeing someone drowning and helping them is not the same as pointing out sin. Pointing out God, the savor... that will help them. Pointing out their sin usually does the opposite. I really don't think people need to be told they are sinning, they need to be told why there is sin... and once they know God, He will convict them and bring them to repentance, only the Holy Spirit can truly convict... what we do, often, is condemn.
I do hear your heart here friend. I just think this whole judgement thing needs to be reexamined.
@mtngirlsouth - I hear you. And I understand... it is ALL a balance. I guess I just don't see the need to tell people they are sinning. I see the need to help them find the root of the sin - they usually KNOW they are sinning. I haven't met many who don't know that it is sin... and, honestly, shouldn't the Holy Spirit being doing the work on the inner heart that we cannot see? Granted He uses us to help, but I just can't get passed that I think people are abusing this whole judgement thing.
Judging someone's actions is a very HUGE responsibility. How can I know your heart well enough to understand your actions? Also, once i know your heart... it becomes clearer why you did what you did. you know?
Sin is just not always so black and white... some things are not profitable for man, but still not sinful.
... I think i'll need to reblog about this after some more research. good things are stirring but I feel like more needs to be defined. Judgement, grace, discernment, sin... love. its all intermingled.
@xXrEMmUsXx - Yeah. It's like Paul and James about faith vs. grace. There is also the fact that different approaches work better for different people. In my experience, I decided I would rather offend and be hated for saying something that is true, than be accused on judgement day for never giving the warning. But this is more about the fact of hell and coming judgement of God than calling out sin. I have seen people end up turning away from God entirely because they were given an impression of God's love as never judging, and never condemning. And then when they got a good dose of that side of God they couldn't handle it. But this also goes to the fact that so many people really don't understand what real love is in the first place.
@xXrEMmUsXx - I guess you didn't get the parable I was trying to make.I was talking about the encouragement part.Just admonishing and encouraging doesn't cut it.When I said if you see someone drowning,is that helping them by just encouraging them to swim?No.And just like encouraging and admonishing someone to live rightly doesn't work unless you show them not only by how you treat them but by how you live your life.It was jus something off the top of my head and I guess I just can't explain it that well. I thought about a lot of other things today while out working and now I have forgotten them(getting old stinks) I wish I had a recording of all my thoughts so I could play them back at the end of the day LOL
I don't know the particulars so can only infer from the entry itself. True, we don't know the truth or the lie of any situation. We can't read people's minds, or thier hearts. We shouldn't put ourselves in the position of trying to make any ascertainments either.
Only the Big Guy is "qualified" to dispense any judgement in life. We can make suggestions, and engage in dialog, but should never impose our human will on any other, or suppose our life choices have any bearing on any other's life choices.
I've thought a lot about the "black and white and shades of gray" definitions of what's either good or bad or whether something should be done or not. My "boss" at work (whom I hardly respect. He's disorganized, forgetful, and "wishy washy") used to say things were never black and white, only shades of gray." I disagree. Somethings are blatantly "wrong" or "right". Other situations have so many shades of gray there should be some more discussion before any policy is created around them.
I very much enjoyed reading the advice of "Ronnie" supplied after your edit. In fact, I almost deleted this comment because I really can't add to the advice which you've already been given, except to say I agree wholeheartedly.
@Somefishytales - lol... I was just saying that a few weeks ago... I wish I could rewind my thoughts and record them. I think about a lot of cool stuff and I'm always trying to remember 'just how I put it in my head earlier'. A friend suggested getting a recorder since I nearly write entire chapters in my head driving around. BUT... its so much faster to 'think' it then to write or speak it...