One of the dangers of listening online to one person after another share how their lives are broken is it becomes easy to fall into judgment of others.
Some people visit looking for help with difficult personal situations or behavior that is clearly unbiblical. They can even be seeking some opinion or advice on their circumstances. However, this does not mean they are desiring to be personally judged.
Answering their questions may require discernment or judgment about the behavior, but this can be sensitive and very dangerous. The enemy wants these conversations to go sideways. He wants to decrease the value of our Gospel-centered message by creating friction with the seeker.
Offering any judgment on these situations can go wrong in several different ways:
- We may not be told all the facts and can end up judging in the wrong way.
- We too easily forget our own mistakes or faults when offering a response.
- We forget God’s grace for our worst mistakes and become a hypocrite.
- We assume the worst and miss information that may shed a different light on the situation.
We encourage volunteers to pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance with these difficult conversations. We want to be charitable in coming to conclusions and sharing truth in an appealing way that makes Jesus more desirable. If we are unsure, we should ask more questions to see if there is more to the story. We should always walk carefully sharing grace and God’s love before offering answers to questions requiring some judgment.
A few verses to remind us of the dangers of judging.
Luke 6:37 – Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Romans 2:1 – You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
Matthew 7:3 – Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?