Sunday, 4 December 2011

What does love have to do with it?

So what does love have to do with judging others?
I have been writing blogs for the last six months daring to define the most elusive concept of them all; love.
So far I have stated that love is the cause and not the emotional and physical effects. In other words, love is not and will never be an emotion or an action. All that we have come to know about love such as feelings, trust, actions, and even the result are merely the entourage of loving. Love is at the center of your core beliefs (or so it should be) and it produces an assembly of responses. Love's main objective is to continuously edify with integrity. The moment one stops edifying, one ventures into hate. I have also referred to forgiveness as being an obligatory component to love. Without forgiveness there's no edification.

But today I want to briefly touch on another component of love; judging. Some Christians believe that judging people is not scriptural and even less a component of love. In fact many have not even connected the pair as associates. But if one is to edify through integrity, then one may have to dismantle, rebuke, or judge another for the sake of love. I never said that love wasn't tough. But remember that mercy is also a quality of love.

The confusing begins in Matthew 7:1; Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Many believers don't go any further. And yes, if the thought ended with this verse I would understand this misconception. However it continues to verse five where Jesus says, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” And that is the key to understanding what Jesus had shared. Jesus is referring to insincere and self-serving judgement. He is not instructing us to never judge; rather He is telling us how to judge rightly.

Here are some other verses:

James 2:13 “For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” This verse clearly indicates that one must measure others with mercy.

Matt 7:2 For as you have been judging, so you will be judged, and with your measure will it be measured to you.

John 7:24: Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

We can judge through a merciful and righteous heart. Think about it for a moment. How can we grow if there's no one to enlightened us with our poor choices. Yes the Spirit may be readily available to guide us but only if we work in God's love. Until then judge righteously and listen attentively. Ask yourself one question before you judge another; will it lead to edification through mercy and integrity?

Merciful judging is an act of love.

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