We Are All Judges

As adults, we love to ask children what they want to be when they grow up. We know the typical answers, a policeman, fireman, baseball player, pilot, astronaut or even the president. What I have never heard a child say is that they want to grow up to be a Supreme Court Justice. I’ve never heard a child say they wanted to be a judge, or anything like it. I don’t ever believed that I wanted to be a judge when I grew up even though we played Order in the Court.

I believe this is partly due to the fact that the moment we are born, we have already acquired the propensity to judge. We judge when our milk isn’t being brought to us on our schedule, we judge that our diapers are not changed promptly, and we judge when our parents remove the object of our desires from our grasp. We grow up judging, and continue to be judges until we die. From cradle to grave we judge everything that comes into our path.

This is ironic, given that so many of us never like to be judged for anything we do. If we are caught doing something that is deemed unacceptable by God, country or culture, we have a ready excuse as to why it was acceptable for us to do said deed. And if we see someone doing the same unacceptable deed, we are quick to judge the person guilty of the same offense, never heeding their calls for equity.

We were all born with a sense of right and wrong and we put this sense into use every day in every situation that arise. If someone cuts us off on the highway, we judge that they are maniacs. If someone is driving too slow in front of us, we judge them to be idiots. We judge what people wear, how they treat us, how we are received, who we hang out with, who we marry, who we follow, making little judgments all the while in every process.

Those of you who are reading this are also making judgments. You are judging if what I’m saying is true or not. The reason we judge the way we do and is often as we do is because we are made in the image of God. He made us with a sense of right and wrong so that we can judge what is right and wrong.

God has made us with a conscience and even given us a sense of the Law on our hearts. Paul shows that those without the Law, are still responsible to it because God has placed it on our hearts: …(Gentiles) … show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accuse or else excusing them (Romans 2:15).

We are all judges at heart because this is the way the LORD made us. I know that some are saying, “But Timothy, Jesus said, ‘Do not judge.’” Allow me to nip that in the bud. Jesus was not barring all judgment. He knows how we are made. What is He is preaching against is hypocritical judgment. If you look at the passage in context, you will see that He directs His followers to get the log out of our own eye before we try and get the speck out of our neighbor’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5).

Jesus affirms this part of our nature, to be judges. The question is: do we judge with God’s wisdom, or with the world’s wisdom?


5 thoughts on “We Are All Judges

  1. I think it’s important not to misquote Jesus. Though He did say, “Judge not lest you be judged,” He was speaking in typical hyperbole, and that’s only part of the quote: in the same breath He said, “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” We certainly do judge right and wrong, and we should judge our own behavior and character before we pass judgment on anybody else.

    It’s also important, though, that we shouldn’t presume to judge the state of others’ souls or pass eternal judgment, or usurp the judgment that is only God’s to judge. Paul tells us, in the controversial matter of eating food sacrificed to idols, an action that was not judged by the Church but left to the individual conscience, “Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Master is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:3–4). “Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother” (Romans 14:13).

    And I have heard quite a few Protestants, even in this very blog (*wags finger*), presume to pass judgment on my eternal salvation. Who are they to know the state of my soul or of my relationship with the Lord? Paul tells us that he does not even judge his own eternal salvation (something that should be pointed out to the “eternal security” crowd). He says, “With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God” (1 Corinthians 4:3–5).


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