Ice Breaker: People might be surprised to find out that I ____________.
Most frequently quoted verse in the Bible: Matt 7:1. Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
Question is what does this mean? Are we to never judge anything? Are all judges acting against Jesus direction?
We should look at other verses to help us understand.
John 7:24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
A right way of judging is considering, weighing, evaluating.
So there is a right way and a wrong way to judge. It is important for us to understand that.
The Rabbi’s would often repeat a teaching in a different way to make a point just like we see in this verse: Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
So we know the wrong way to judge is to condemn
Steve suggested that when we judge someone wrongly we are writing their story. We are not the author of their story and we often don’t even know their story. We certainly don’t know the end of their story. Our tendency is to assume that we are right in our judgement and others are wrong. We need to be really careful about that.
John 8:3-7 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
John 8:10-11 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
So Jesus example was also not to condemn. John 3:17 says For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him
Steve said wrong judging is like rewriting a story for the purpose of rejecting someone.
Talk about it:
What is so confusing about judging rightly?
Why are people so quick to quote this verse about not judging? How easy is it to be judgmental? How much room is there for improvement in our lives?
What was the problem with the Pharisees bringing the woman caught in adultery to Jesus to judge?
What is the difference between right and wrong judging?
How easy is it for you to see yourself as judging wrongly? Why?
Do you usually condemn yourself or others?
Who did Jesus say He came to condemn?
John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Why are wrong ways of judging people a problem when you represent Jesus to others? What are the implications of misrepresenting Jesus?
Sometimes we think if there is a disagreement between us and someone else that that means someone is judging wrongly. How is that true or not true?
When have you been on either end of judgement? How does it feel?
When do we especially feel the need to not be judged?
So how/who do we judge rightly? When and how should we do this?
James 5:20 Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Ps 130:3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
What are subtle ways that we judge people and feel justified?
What can we remember that will help us not be apt to judge wrongly?
What can we learn from the way Jesus handled the situation with the sinful woman?
How was judgement right and wrongly used in that story? What did Jesus do that made truth more likely to be heard?
What do we need to do or stop doing to be more like Jesus? Some contrasts Steve mentioned like discerning vs dismissing, Conversing vs declaring. What other contrasts can you summarize?
Grace is not a compromise if Jesus did it. Truth is essential. How do you blend those two?
What will you work on this week?