Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sawdust and Planks

Judge - to form an opinion about something or someone after careful thought; to regard someone as either good or bad

Sapat - to judge decide; act as law-giver, judge

Krino - to discriminate between good and evil, select, choose out the good; to judge, form or give an opinion after separating and considering the particulars of a case

John 8:15 - You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.  But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone.

Jesus said those words to the Pharisees, who at the time were accusing him of being something he wasn't, and denying he was who he claimed to be.  When someone tells you He is the light of the world, that may make one a little nervous and defensive.  Light breaks through and brings light to the darkest places. And here was Jesus, shining a very bright light on their hearts.

Interestingly, I found two dominant words for judge both in the Hebrew (Old Testament) and the Greek (New Testament).  The majority of times the English word judge is used in both Old and New Testament Sapat and krino are the most used words.  There are a few, a very few, other words, but they don't mean much different than what Sapat and Krino mean, in my uncertified opinion.

So I've been thinking about that word judge and what Jesus said about it and how it was used in the B.C. days and how it is used in the A.D. period in which you and I now live.

What I find the most interesting is that the word Jesus used, Krino, is the word that I wish I could practice.  I wish it was part of my human DNA to judge like Jesus does.

First by saying, "I pass judgment on no one."  Oh how I wish I were found guilty of that charge!

But really, what Jesus is saying is more like this:  When I do discriminate between good and evil, selecting out the good, it is only after I have considered the particulars of the situation.  My opinion will only come AFTER I have done this.

I wish I could do that.  But.....I don't.  I express my opinion long before I consider the particulars of a situation.  I judge people based on a fifteen second news bite, or a ten second piece of gossip I hear standing in line at the grocery story or read on the cover of a tabloid.

I judged Jesus based on what someone else told me about Him rather than searching Him out for myself, and suffered a lot of unnecessary crap because I did.

I judged circumstances in my life based on eyes that could only see certain points of view at the time but through the passage of time and maturity I can see more clearly and understand more fully.

I judge too quickly, and condemn even faster, those things I know nothing about yet think because I see a piece of the picture I must be able to see the whole.

I want to judge like Jesus, but when I do my world will be turned upside down.  My boxes will have to be broken down.  The boxes I put people and situations in so that I can package them up in my own judgments and say, "Yes, you or It belong here, because this is what I see and know today."

Even Paul, the great Apostle Paul, the one who was quick to judge, condemn, and murder all those who went against Jewish law when they met Jesus Christ, said AFTER he himself became a Jesus follower, "I care very little if I am judged (anakrino*) by you or by any human court:  indeed, I do not even judge (anakrino*) myself.  My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.  It is the Lord who judges (anakrino) me.  Therefore judge (krino) nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motive's of men's hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God." 1 Corinthians 4:2-5

*anakrino - to examine, judge

Jesus knows what it's like to judge by human standards because he was a human.  But a human can only judge by the standard in which it lives.  If it judges like the world, it will be judged like the world judges.  But!  Jesus wasn't burdened by the judgement of his human nature because he was divine, and what he did judge when he choose to judge he could only judge with divine eyes that saw the whole picture in light of the whole word of God.  His eyes see the heart.  His eyes are able to determine good and evil then, even when he can see good and evil clearly, he still is able to consider the particulars of the situation.  He uses all of Scripture to make his judgments, not just pieces of scripture that he tries to fit in to give his judgments bite.

Wow!  Don't you wish we all could judge like Jesus?

We can you know.  We can.  If we ask him to help us to judge like he does, we can.  It's not impossible when His Spirit lives inside the believer.  All we need to do is ask for the ability.  But when we ask, we must be willing to lay down our desire to make quick judgments.  That will be the hard part for me.

I can watch a fifteen second news bite and form my opinion almost as quickly.

I can read a share on Facebook and form my belief about a person or situation and refuse to see another side.

When we purpose ourselves to judge like Jesus would and does, things change.  And that's the point.  Change.  He doesn't want us to stay like we are, like we've been, like we think we will always be.  He is in the business of heart mending, cleaning, and growing.  And when we determine ourselves to think like he thinks about every situation we face, we can only change.

If we're not changing, we're not really growing.

 If you are the same in your spiritual maturity as you were twenty, thirty, fifty years ago, than something is wrong with you, not Him.   If you think the same way at 50 that you did at 20, it's time to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, why am I not growing?  You can be young at heart, but if you are immature in your thinking and how you view the world, it may be time for a makeover.

(Is that my judgment or does it belong to Jesus? Let it be agreeable to Him).

Jesus said something else about when we judge:  "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you krino others, you will be krino(ed), and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.   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?  How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye.,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.  (Matthew 7:1-5).

Ouch, Jesus!

So if I am judging someone based on my standards then I better be prepared to be judged by someone else's standards who does not know my whole story, my whole reason behind what I do.  Basically what Jesus said is, "What goes around, comes around."  If I am judging someone for their beliefs, behaviors, or anything else I can pick at, I have no reason to be shocked when the same is done to me.

If we're going to judge we need to make sure we judge like Jesus did.  He could instantly see the good and evil but he didn't make a final judgment according to just either good or evil.  He waited to see what His Father thought about the situation or the person and then.....then, he would make a definitive judgment.

I'd rather have someone like Jesus judging me then someone who only judges with human standards tainted by human reasoning, wouldn't you?

Have a blessed day!  I've got to go get a plank out of my eye.


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