We live in a culture now where everyone is trying to focus only on positivity and happiness. Well, that can work against you if you are not careful. A well balanced productive person and/or great leader is one who is aware of the strengths and weaknesses not only of themselves, but also those on their team. In other words, we must look at the negatives or our weaknesses and have the wisdom to use them to our advantage and reach our goals.
I see posters like this circulating all around social media and it sounds like it makes sense, but it is simply not biblical. Not only do we need to face the uncomfortable and hard things about ourselves, but we also are called to deal with difficult and sinful people. Jesus spent most of his time with the sick, poor and even His enemies. I do not believe it was predicated on them to “lift Jesus higher.”
We must be careful not to let the humanistic brainwashing strategies of the culture influence our mentality and attitudes as believers and disciples of Christ. We have to remember that we are called the Body Of Christ for a reason. We compliment one another. God uses our weaknesses/negatives as well as strengths/positives for His glory. He said His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). That goes against everything the world teaches! Yes we are to look on the bright side and think on good things, although, we also are called to examine ourselves, face our sinful nature and trust God to cover us where we have no control over our deficiencies. We are called to deal with the broken hearted, unlovable, the poor, the weak, the hungry, the downtrodden, etc… That does not sound like a bunch that will lift me higher, I must look to Christ to lift me higher. Of course, God will also bring encouragers in our life. He gives us those brothers and sisters in Christ who lift our spirits, but that does not mean we neglect or reject those who can offer us nothing. Remember, in all things we must rely on The Holy Spirit to give us balance and wisdom. A negative + a positive can = a positive! Therefore, do not be quick to hop on the Positive/Happy Train with the world. We need The joy of The Lord to sustain us and “lift us higher”, not this trendy positivity and happiness that is fleeting.
Out of all the “Don’t judge me” rhetoric, this pic is one of the most accurate. I love it! It depicts a person who is basically a hypocrite. I’m sure there is a wide consensus of disdain for hypocrites. We borderline hate them. I know I’ve had to repent over a few in my life. Therefore, for those of you who have a clear understanding that this is what the bible means in its total context, when referring to not judging others, congrats to you! I believe you have a healthy interpretation of scripture concerning this topic.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Do Not Judge
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
This scripture is telling us that if we want NO judgement from others then, do not judge. Although, if we are going to judge, make sure we are in a position to judge rightly. Example: if you are an irresponsible parent, you would not give advice on parenting or if you have been divorced 3 times, you would not write a book on “How to stay married.” Actually, you could, but you would open yourself up for plenty of judgement and ridicule.
After all, what does the dictionary say about judging? Let me make it clear that I am referring to judge as a verb, not a noun. It should be clear that as a noun, only God is The Judge. For those of you who do not consider God the final authority or judge in your life, is it safe for me to say if you were to acknowledge Him as God, He would be the only Judge (noun)? However, since there are many who have deemed yourselves to be The judge over your life, please indulge me for a moment.
According to these verb definitions of judging, do we not judge everyday in every part of our lives? Now let’s stay in the context of coming to a conclusion after careful consideration of circumstances or evidence. If you are choosing a doctor, do you judge many before choosing? We could apply this exercise of judgement to restaurants, churches, schools, towns we choose to live in, political candidates, friends, hospitals, etc… I could go on and on, but I’m sure you’re getting the picture. What do all these examples have in common? That’s right, PEOPLE. In all these examples we are judging the types of people we will be interacting with whether in a personal or business capacity.
- Would you introduce a well-known womanizer to your beautiful 19-year-old daughter?
- Would you ask a family member known for stealing to hold your wallet while you take a swim?
- Would you ask your buddy who will have sex with anything that moves to stay with your wife while you’re on a business trip?
- Would you recommend your friend to your boss for a job, knowing they’ve been fired from their last 4 jobs?
- Would you automatically believe someone without question, who is a liar or known to embellish?
Judging is a part of our everyday lives, the only time we loathe judging is when we are partaking in questionable behaviors, making questionable decisions, practicing unpopular belief systems or lifestyles or simply don’t want to know or hear what others think. As a matter of fact the bible teaches us to judge. The bible teaches that people are influenced by His Spirit or the spirit of darkness and tells us to judge who or what we are dealing with.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Of course you can choose not to believe in the bible and that is your free will, every person has free will to live in what manner they choose; to think whatever they want. Although, you can still judge that this scripture makes perfect sense. Let’s face reality. In this world we live in there is a such thing as a good person and a bad person; even if you judge purely from a moral or ethical point of view. We ALL judge and rightfully so. It is our way of filtering our lives so that it creates the type of life we want to live and/or the type of people we want to engage with. Afterall, would I leave my full-blown alcoholic Mother to watch my children? No, I most certainly would not! If she was offended, that would have to be between her and God, I have to protect my children. Would that be judging her? Yes it would and rightfully so. I would not overlook her drinking problem and irresponsibility and not “judge her” just because she’s my mother. That would be an absurd judgement in my opinion.
The same people who cry “Don’t judge” will put this online…
Well how can I distinguish between those who will lift me or bring me down unless I judge? Exactly! Most often the people who cry “don’t judge me” are the people who want no one to say, write, or question anything about their opinions, choices, behavior, lifestyle, declarations, or business endeavors. Well I hate to break the news and dispel this false illusion of a world that does not judge, but wake up. We all judge everyday and always will. It is a healthy way of life. To judge others with the same convictions you live by yourself is relative and necessary especially today as the times are becoming more evil. If I hold honesty in high regard for my life, then you can be assured I will still hold it in high regard in the lives of others. I will never expect more from others than I expect of myself. As human beings will we fall short sometimes, of course. That does not mean you throw the standard out the window because you failed to meet it, it means you keep trying until you do. Therefore, I say JUDGE and judge rightly! Judge according to honor, integrity, honesty, love, peace, joy, and all the things that make this life worth living. Judge by the love, grace, and mercy of Christ. Do not lower your standards under the intimidation of a few who are afraid of being judged. We will always be judged by others, so just focus on God and do your best, by His grace to please Him and live a life pleasing to Him and you will live and sleep peacefully, knowing you did your very best!
New King James Version (NKJV)
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.
21 There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.