Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). We know he was condemning the practice of critiquing and criticizing the lives of those around us. We know he did not mean we should be tolerant or oblivious to obvious sins. But where is the line of demarcation?
That line is in our hearts. When we habitually or intentionally look for flaws in others, we are on the wrong side of the line. We’re judging, then, in the way Jesus condemns. When we see the sins of others and seek to help them by prayer, forgiveness or service, then we are on the right side of the line. We’re judging, then, correctly. The line of demarcation is clear if our hearts are pure.
Paul detailed the line in his treatise on love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (I Corinthians 11:4-7). In other words, no one who loves another can at the same time judge them incorrectly. The line of demarcation is between love and the lack of love in our hearts.
I've lived in Missouri several times in my life, but never heard of Ferguson until recently. A policeman there shot a criminal who attacked him. What is all the hubbub about? The policeman was white, the criminal was black, and though a grand jury found nothing happened except what the law demands, riots have been sparked all over the country by opponents of law and order. Ignorant people have jumped to the conclusion they want so they can have an excuse to riot, protest, loot and create civil unrest.
Jumping to preconceived conclusions is a totally dishonest thing to do. It occurs all the time among the intellectually and emotionally unstable. They reject the truth so they can believe whatever they choose to believe. It's a mindless and heartless practice. The only conclusion left in the aftermath is that such people purposely hate the truth.
Jesus is and was the Son of God. That's the truth. It is a proven historical fact, with no evidence against it. Jesus' birth, life, death, resurrection, miracles, fulfilled prophesies and wisdom all testify to the truth. God's written word reveals it all. Yet, he was killed by people who ignored the truth and is ignored by people who dispute the truth. Still, the truth remains no matter how irrational people get. Paul spoke of "the godlessness and wickedness" (Romans 1:18). They may suppress the truth with their wickedness, but the truth will always remain in the end. And that's the truth!