Welcome to Heartsprings, where I share what springs forth from my heart for God and His people. I pray that what you find here blesses you and draws you nearer to your Heavenly Father who loves you like no other.

In His love,
Brenda :-)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Judging and Judgment

An interesting issue among Christians is the issue of judging. It's been my experience that there's some confusion there. A matter of semantics, perhaps. The following is my understanding of the subject. Take what you will from it. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will indeed lead us into all truth with clear understanding. Amen!

The first verse that comes to mind when I think of "judging" is Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, that you be not judged." This is the verse everyone spouts when they don't want to be judged, or they want to make sure YOU are not being judgmental toward someone else. The original Greek word for "judge" in that verse is "krino", and it means "to try, condemn, punish: -avenge, conclude, condemn, damn,......" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible). In this sense of the word, it is absolutely correct that you should not be judgmental. It is not our job as Christians to condemn or punish. That is strictly God's domain. Then we look at I Corinthians 2:15 which tells us, "But he who is spiritual judges all things......". The original Greek there is "anakrino", which means to scrutinize, i.e. investigate, interrogate, determine, discern. (Strong's) We make judgments all day long. We judge whether to turn right or left, whether the tuna salad looks good or the pastrami for lunch, whether the actions of a person cause us to trust them or to be uneasy with them. Large, small, and in between - we make judgments every day all day long. As Christians we are to judge the sin among us. I Corinthians 5:11 tells us, "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner - not even to eat with such a person." Galatians 6:1, "Brethren if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted." We have to use our God-given ability to judge sin according to His Word. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,"-2 Timothy 3:16

How can we correct our brethren if we do not judge when they're falling into sin? We're not to condemn or punish. Our job is to "scrutinize, determine, discern" that there is sin that needs to be dealt with and deal with it "in a spirit of gentleness". Krino judging is God's job. Akrino judging is our job. Same English word, different biblical (Greek) words/meanings. So, before you recite Matthew 7:1 next time, consider what kind of judging is being exercised. Is the person playing Holy Spirit, or are they doing their duty as a brother or sister-in-Christ in a spirit of gentleness? We are not called to condemn (judge), but we ARE called to discern and determine (judge) sin in our lives as well as the lives of our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

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