Judging vs. Inspecting
September 4, 2012 Leave a comment
I can plainly see that the bananas on the right are not the most succulent, enticing ones to eat. Most folks would throw them out if they do get to this point. I would venture to guess you would throw them out too if your bananas got to that point.
But this is exactly what I see when someone tells me I’m judging others by their actions. I begin imagining that Paul looked like the bananas on the left but Saul looked like the bananas on the right. Through the transformation you can see how Paul became better than his former self, Saul. So there has to be a way to differentiate between the two. Yet folks don’t like to draw that line because that would be judging.
I know I could be opening a can of worms with this post. I understand Matthew says in His sermon on the mount not to judge others for whatever measure you judge others, you will be judged likewise.
But I do believe Jesus allows us to be fruit inspectors (Matthew 7:15-20). That means we have the right to look at other’s actions and tell if they are producing fruit, if the kingdom of God is growing through them. Here’s the key. Unless there is a relationship involved between the fruit inspector and the fruit bearer, there can be some ill judgment happening.
Rules to Inspection1. Pray thoroughly 2. Inspect carefully 3. Establish relationship 4. Admonish honestly 5. Pray again
See what I did there? I prayed about it. I didn’t jump to conclusions. I asked God to help me see if this is my own convictions or not. I then inspected wisely and carefully. Are what they doing truly wrong in the biblical sense or just in cultural sense? After I decided they may be wrong, I established a relationship if it wasn’t already there to strengthen our ability to speak to one another. Lastly I admonished with honesty not with false intentions to express my authority over them as a pastor or someone who is more biblically minded. I admonish in love with sincerity.
Lastly, pray again. You can never pray enough. It is truly up to the Holy Spirit to change them. You are just the messenger. You plant the seed or water it but God is the one who brings the growth. (1 Cor. 3:5-9) Let Him do His job in His own time, not yours.
* Definition of ADMONISH 1 a: to indicate duties or obligations to b: to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner