Judgmentalism is an emotional thing

Judgmentalism is an emotional thing.  It carries a connotation of harshness not found in judgment which at its best is fair and impartial.  Judgment does not carry the same negative emotional weight as does judgmentalism.

finger_pointing_sm.thumbnailNo one wants to be judged and found wanting. Yet, everyone wants to be judged and deemed superior.  Whatever the outcome, however, judgment with harshness draws emotional blood. There is hardly a worse place to be than in the presence of someone who is continually looking down on you. The world is better off without judgmentalism.

Judgment is unavoidable.  The purpose of the sun is not to cast shadow, but when the sun shines, shadows are inevitable. The truth is that every law legislates’ morality. Through law a society expresses its judgment about what conduct is acceptable and what is not.  Society judges what brings benefit and what brings harm.  Determining when individual actions are neither helpful nor hurtful to the person involved or to those affected by their actions is itself a judgment about what is light and what darkness is.

Christianity in general and Christians in particular are often characterized as judgmental.  Whether Christian or not, judgmentalism, harsh judgment, brings harm.  Judgment, however, protects the weak and innocent even as it points people away from the cliff and the pain that is sure to follow. Judgment is desirable when it is the result of loving concern.

Jesus commanded Christians not to judge hypocritically or self-righteously, i.e. not to be judgmental.  He did command them to expose false teachers, to warn and express disapproval with love because they love others, and to exercise discipline within the church without condemning to hell which is God’s prerogative only. Any other explanation of the New Testaments directive not to “judge, or you too will be judged” is false.

Problems such as those at work or between friends cannot be resolved without the loving discernment known as judgment. Consequently the Son of God said, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” This kind of judgment is not based on human concepts of good and evil, but God’s. Remember, God did not send Jesus into the world to condemn it, but to save it. To not follow Jesus is as likely to lead to good results as is driving on a moonless night without headlights.

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