– by Prof Gerrie Bester

There is a very confusing and misunderstood concept in the body of Christ that makes believers often rather keep quiet than say anything that may guide others on the right path. It’s words we often hear spill from the mouths believers within the Church – “You are not allowed to judge” or “Don’t judge me.” There is a truth in this, but too many times these words are used to defend wrongdoings that sprout from a place of hurt or bondage which, when defended as opposed to being repented, blocks Abba Father’s healing in my life and makes me unteachable for the Word that sets me free (John 8:32).

God is patient with us
Many times, believers try to guide each other or even guide someone who has not chosen covenant with Abba Father, only to hear “don’t judge, rather do it in love” as if these two are enemies of each other. Offence is rife in the bride of Christ and you get very few that can be as sensitive as the very people who claim to walk in covenant with the One who is so patient with us. 

It has become one of the most popular ways to defend sin
When you try to guide me to the truth of the Word of Abba Father, I merely brush you off with the words “don’t judge me, you are not perfect either.” It may be true that no one is perfect, but do we really want to walk away from such a conversation, still bound by sin, just because the other person is also not perfect? How will we ever be freed from bondage if we keep defending our sin? Do we really have to choose whether we judge or whether we love someone, or are the two possibly working in conjunction with each other in Abba Father’s Word? Then we read the Scriptures with regards to this concept and it becomes even more confusing in trying to understand it.

How do I judge a righteous judgement?
Matthew 7:1 says “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Then a few verses later in the very same Scripture it portrays the picture of judging a tree by its fruit. So, am I allowed to judge or not? To further confuse the issue, we read in John 7:24 to “Judge not according to appearance, but judge a righteous judgement.” So how do we do this? How do I judge a righteous judgement?

Look to the original Scripture
If we study the Greek of these Scriptures, we see an amazing picture unravel in God’s living Word. When the Word of Abba Father warns us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), the Greek word used is the word krino. This word means condemnation, to punish, or to sentence. It is a word that means “to have the authority to determine the punishment for someone and sentence them to that punishment.” The word of Abba Father says we are not to do this. James 4:12 says that there is only One lawgiver and judge. He continues to explain that there is only One who is able to save and destroy – and that I am in this not to judge my neighbour.

Are Christians judgemental?
We want to judge others by their actions, and ourselves by our intentions. This causes hurt and strife in the body of Messiah or causes unsaved people to see a picture of “Christians that are so judgemental”, as opposed to them being carriers of the good news.

Judgement vs discernment
1 Corinthians 2:15 teaches us that “He who is spiritual judges all things…” and uses the same Greek word krino, but this time with a prefix that changes the whole picture in the Word of Abba Father. The word used is anakrino, which means to discern. Because this word is also translated as “judge”, it can cause misunderstanding and confusion. 

Are you praying for wisdom?
When I cannot discern, the Word teaches us to pray for wisdom in a situation (James 1:5). To discern is the ability to, under exclusive guidance of Holy Spirit, renew my mind with the truth of the Word of Abba Father and to measure all areas of my life against His Word so that I can glorify Him in all areas of my life. Then the Word of Abba Father continues to teach that once I know the truth of His Word, to decide – diakrino (also translated as judge in the English), which means “to render a decision, based on the truth of His word.” It is discernment of good and evil through the power of Holy Spirit and not on my own understanding and emotions.

Repent or rebel
The truth of the Word of Abba Father reveals the true intentions of my heart. Discernment is not a formula that I apply to a situation – It is applying God’s Word to a situation and teaching this in love to others. The intention of my heart cannot change the character of sin, just because I claim that something was said or done with good intention.

God’s Word is our measure
Human intention is not the measure of discernment – the Word of Abba Father is. The Word of Abba Father will always offend the sin in my life – I then have the choice to repent or rebel.

Article source: JOY! Magazine

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