The Place of Judgment

This Scripture promotes an idea of judgment that is not geared towards condemnation, but towards salvation.

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:1-2‬ ‭

What is the place of judgment in the Christian life? 

In today’s postmodern world, the word “judgment” has become demonized and viewed in a negative light. People don’t want any judgment for the lifestyle that they are living and some have even gone as far as to say that God Himself doesn’t judge anyone. Many people judge judgment as bad and judge other people as judgmental for judging them (all of this “judge-caption” is ironic isn’t it?). The funny thing is that no matter where you go or what you do, it is impossible to not judge. You judge people every day of your life. You label people friend, look at people’s mannerisms, tones, and expressions to tell what mood they’re in… and maybe you can even judge people from the little things such as the way that they park. Judgment is unavoidable. Everybody does it. 
So if judgment as a whole is bad, then why not also what could be considered “good judgment?” When you tell your friend “Hey you look great today!” You’re judging them. The thing that people don’t want is not judgement, it’s offensive declarations. Offensive declarations are considered negative, because well… They offend. Though, these types of declarations are only truly offensive when someone is in the wrong. This is why God, the Bible, and Christians are disliked by many. Our message offends because it goes against everything that others know and believe about the world and themselves. The unsaved like to take Matthew 7:1-2 out of context and say that the Bible tells Christians not to judge, but that isn’t really true. Read the rest:
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (Matthew‬ ‭7:3-5‬)

     This verse is not commanding us “not to judge” it’s actually telling us “how to judge.” You can’t judge someone when you’re doing the same sins as them. Imagine a judge who stole illegal music downloads, judging someone who does the same thing as guilty. What position is he in to administer judgment? Is that really justice? This Scripture can be applied to people who like to judge each other for living unjustly, when they themselves are living unjustly. [This Scripture can also be applied to Christians who judge others for doing certain things that they don’t agree with (whether it be eating meat or listening to certain types of music), because they are letting their legalism divide the body of Christ.] This is the epitome of hypocrisy and bad judgment. 

In the eyes of God everyone is guilty of sin (and His holiness is unrivaled in all of existence) so imagine how it looks when to Him when one sinner tries to display righteousness over another. It’s the same as looking at a filthy rag and choosing one because it is less filthy than another… They’re both filthy? Both rags are in need of cleaning! In order to be able to judge in a condemning “holier than thou sense,” (not simply pointing out errors in actions) you have to be completely free of judgment and morally pure. Nobody, not even Christians justified by God’s grace through Jesus Christ are morally pure (perfect). 

St. John said “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:8‬) This of course is not promoting moral degeneracy, however, this is reasoning for merciful judgment. So you cannot condemn anyone because you yourself are not perfect. Condemnation is God’s job and He will save whom He wills and condemn whom He wills. In order to rightly judge, you must understand this (unlike the Pharisees in Jesus’ original audience). This is what it means when Jesus says, “First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” 

This Scripture promotes an idea of judgment that is not geared towards condemnation, but towards salvation. Just as Christ said that “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John‬ ‭3:17) we should do the same. In this sense, we reveal/convict, showing the need for a savior and thereby present the Gospel (a resolution for the conviction, and the message of salvation), similar to how we would use the Ten Commandments. We can (and should) also use our judgment to affirm and uplift, showing the good and godly qualities in an individual. Both of these judgments are good and when used together promote a healthy view of the human being as a intricately wonderful, but flawed creature (of course by nature due to the Fall in Genesis 3) in need of salvation from God’s condemnation. If we constantly have this idea/motive in judging (to reveal and to save) then we will truly see fruit in not just evangelism, but also in our normal relationships with each other in and outside of the church.  

So how does one get free of God’s condemnation? The truth is that no human can be free of God’s judgment on their own. It is literally impossible for anybody to clear their self of guilt before God. So how is anyone going to be free from judgment? Jesus Christ came to take our (well deserved) judgment from God upon Himself for all of our sins so that we could be set free from God’s righteous judgment. Isaiah 53:10 says “But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.” He lived a life free of judgment, was crushed for our rebellion and our sins, and then He rose again, defeating death (the result of judgment) so that all who would repent of their sins and trust in Him would be free from death, and Hell. When someone is born-again, they are then given the ability to properly judge, as they align their values with God’s. The “log” is gone from their eye, so now they can remove the “specks” from the eyes of others. So to be honest, it is a Christians duty to judge people. Not in a condemning way because we aren’t here to condemn people, because they are already condemned! Our job is to give the Gospel in love to people, not condemning for their sin, but informing them of their sin and giving them the Gospel so that they can be liberated. The Bible says: 

•“Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.”‭‭ (1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:15‬)

•“Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”‭‭ (John‬ ‭7:24‬)

•“The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.”‭‭ (Psalms‬ ‭37:30‬)

•“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭1:10‬) 

•“When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues?”‭‭ (1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:1-5‬)

Judging is not always bad (as long as it is good, loving, and true), and as Christians we are called to judge righteously, not unrighteously. 

Thank you for reading dear Reader, God bless you

Sincerely,

Noah 

 A Letter to Her

Maybe, I’ve met you or maybe I haven’t…

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”‭‭(Proverbs‬ ‭18:22‬)

“Where are you?” I ask myself when I’m alone. I don’t know you. I don’t know what you like. I don’t know anything about you… Well, except that I’ll love you of course. I don’t know your favorite color or your favorite movies or shows, or your favorite music or any of your hobbies– but I do know that I’ll enjoy doing all of these things with you. I don’t know the color of your eyes or how you look when you smile, but I do know that when I see your smile it’ll brighten up my world in ways that you and even I probably won’t understand. I know that your smile will light up every room that we’re in together. I also know that seeing that very same bright smile on your face will be my goal every day. 

I’m looking forward to days on the beach, walks downtown, traveling and adventuring, going to amusement parks, evenings watching movies, hanging out with friends and family, making jokes, and just having fun enjoying each other. I’m looking forward to walking hand in hand with you, marveling at lights, taking photos, buying you gifts, messing around and laughing together. I know that your laugh will be a delightful melody to my ears. I’m even looking forward to more simple things like sharing food with each other (even giving you the last slice of pizza), and going out together. I’m looking forward to seeing movies with you, spending time with you, and wiping your tears away whenever you cry. I want to be a shoulder for you to lean on. I want to be someone that you can confide in and someone who you can trust to support you when everything seems to be going wrong. 

I’m looking forward to coffee dates, deep conversations, and just getting to know and appreciate that beautiful mind that God has given you. I’m looking forward to praying with you, and worshiping God with you. As I look into your eyes, I know that I’ll find over a million more added reasons to worship Him. I’m looking forward to serving you and making you feel loved and appreciated. I’m looking forward to loving you, to hugs, cuddles, and giving you kisses… I’m looking forward to all of it. Maybe, I’ve met you or maybe I haven’t, either way it’ll be the biggest blessing if and when you show up. All that I could ask for is that God prepare me to be as mature as I can and that He would build me up to be a great, understanding, and responsible man for you to confide in. I pray that He builds me into someone who points you back to Jesus and the cross of Christ, all the time. 

I’m looking forward to the day where I will be able to get down on my knee and ask you to be mine. I’m looking forward to the excited look in your eyes, and maybe even the tears of joy falling from them. I’m looking forward to our future together along with your happiness and every blessing that will come out of it. I know everything won’t be perfect, but at the same time, I know that everything will be worth it. You’re worth the wait and this long road full of heartbreak and longing. I’m looking forward to it all, and I am looking forward to you. 

“Love is patient….”

‭‭(1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4)

Thank you for reading dear Reader, may God bless you 

Sincerely, 

Noah

Split 

The love should define your feelings, but your feelings should not define the love.

Split 

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

‭‭1 Corinthians 13:4-7

“I wasted my time…” I think to myself

I invested it, I nurtured it, I put faith in it… for nothing. 

It seems like there is no reason or rhyme to the rhythms of life right now, as I am unsure how to feel.

I am sad but happy, sort of dazed, a bit jaded, a bit confused, but I digress. 

She dumped me, yes, she dumped me. 

It feels like she played me like a fool, and she made me think that she actually felt for me.

No, she didn’t… Well she did, but she didn’t feel the same. 

I tried, I gave her my heart, I gave her my time, I was vulnerable with her like I was with no one else. 

All this time she never felt the same, she was only letting me think that she did. 

She thought that she was doing a good thing, but she was not. 

Instead of being in a relationship, it feels like I was playing a game. 

All the kisses, all the hugs, all the times that I showed her the beginnings of what I believe was love. 

All the service, all the affirmation, all the long walks together and dedication…

All the things that I did for her… It feels like I’ve been used. 

Sullied and duped. 

I thought that one day I could love her, and I started to. 

Instead she was wondering if she could stand to like me based on her feelings. 

Who, was I to think that I could actually be happy? 

That my heart could finally rest in someone’s hands. It seems that I was wrong, sadly. 

Over the years it’s been stretched out so far, that it’s about to pop, like a rubber band.  

How perilous it is, the search for love between woman and man. 

God I feel broken, I am like a fresh wound still bleeding and still open. 

I need you to heal me and nurture me back to health… because if I am unhealthy, how can I even fathom loving someone else? 

Clean me and restore me before I am infected,  causing me to turn bitter and ugly from the pain that I neglected. 

Help me to keep my dignity before I turn my face against those who actually do love me. 

I wish nothing on her, but for You to give her strength. 

Though I felt hurt, I care for her and I don’t want her to be hurt, because she doesn’t deserve it. 

Though, she didn’t feel the same, at least she tried to do so, and she didn’t let me go on for so long falsely believing that I could earn it. 

I care about her and I want her to know that I’m not angry, but that I’m just confused.

Is this what dating is? A time for me to find someone on which my feelings can be suffused?

I want you to help her on her way, and I pray that You will give her wisdom to help her learn from the mistakes that she’s made. 

I pray that she is not mistreated, but that instead she is spoiled by someone who appreciates her like I did, and even more so.

I don’t want her to suffer, but I do want her to grow. 

I want her to learn from this and learn how a man is supposed to treat her. Yes, I want her to know.

I want her to know that she is still a queen and deserves to be treated as such, but before she finds her king,

She needs to know that love is not a house that you stumble upon, but a tower that is built by two sets of hands, what a dream. 

It is the time, dedication, and work between woman and man. 

Lord help me to find the right one, and to never settle for anyone short of a capable builder who will endure with me.

Bless her to be patient and kind. 

Bless her to speak what’s on her mind.

Help her to treat me right and for her wisdom and maturity to be defined. 

I pray that I am the perfect man, in my own right, that I will love her and treat her right. 

That I will not be played again, and that I will wait patiently for when she arrives and that I will endure until the end. 

However, if I am to be played again, I pray that I will learn something beneficial.

I pray that this thing that I learn will help me to be a good man to my next girlfriend and that our love will be authentic and not artificial. 

These are the things that I ask, in Jesus’ name, 

Amen. 

I don’t hold anything against my ex. Though this happened, I am thankful for the time that I’ve gotten to spend with her and for what I’ve learned because of this. She never cheated on me and she didn’t hurt me extremely bad. She tried to do it in the best possible way, but of course there is no good way. I don’t think that she was ready for a relationship though. She only liked me as a friend, but she tried to force herself to like me as something more. If you are unsure if you can build with some one, don’t go into it. It’s best to wait. If you don’t want to build with someone in the way that they want to build with you, then please don’t make them think that you do. Don’t go through all the effort making it seem as if you feel for them when you don’t. You may think that you’re doing a good thing, but you’re not. Open up your mouth, and open up your heart. Be honest with yourself, and be honest with them. Communicate with your partner. Don’t think that love happens the way that it does in the movies. If it does, then that’s a weak version of love. 

Think of love as something that needs time, dedication, quality workmanship, and good craftsmanship. Something that is not built upon the shifting sands of feelings, but instead on the rock of Christ and knowledge. Though feelings have some place in love… the love should define your feelings, but your feelings should not define the love. The reason why is because love is more than just a feeling that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. That’s not love itself, it is merely a repercussion of love. 

Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it’s tiring, but that’s where faith, and hope (which naturally stem from love) come in. Make sure that you are willing to work with someone for your love and to not let one person do all the work. Also, don’t overwork yourself. Keep your partner accountable in their building. Plan out the architecture, look at strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be foolish and try to do everything based on feelings. Get to know each other and talk deeply about what you know, and from that how you feel. Don’t feel how to know, know how to feel. I pray that this helped someone out there. 

God bless you dear Reader, Sincerely, 

Noah Latner