Monday, May 07, 2012



If I were to write the song "What The World Needs Now?", I would offer a substitute for the normal answer of love. What the world needs more than anything else right now is good, sound judgment-common sense judgment. We have become intoxicated with the spirit of political correctness. This toxic spirit is so fearful of offending someone, so there is very little that is wrong, bad or foolish. In fact, we don't even want our youth to feel the pain of losing athletic contests, so many don't even want to keep score, where one team is the winner and the other a loser.
As followers of Jesus we have no right to judge someone with condemnation. This is what Jesus means when He introduces the idea of judging. We are to judge-to judge by making conclusions about what is good or bad, right or wrong and wise or foolish. This is common sense judgment. Common sense judgment or discernment is woefully lacking today. And when you make a conclusion kind of judgment, there are four steps to keep in mind as to how you go about making these kinds of conclusions.

Step #1 is to JUDGE WITH THE PROPER SPIRIT-to remember that in the way you make a judgment call about someone or something, you will be judged in the same way and by the same standard as you judge. So be careful how you judge others. Judge with the proper spirit-with a balance of grace and truth. Judging another with truth only can be harsh and lacks the relational dimension of a proper spirit. Judging another with grace only is weak and lacks the truth necessary to get people back on track.

Today we come to the second principle Jesus teaches on how to judge: Step #2-JUDGE WITH THE PROPER STARTING POINT. Jesus says it this way: "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5)

This brings us to SECRET #34: The follower of Jesus judges himself first. There is a really basic principle underlying this principle of how we judge things and one another. No matter what you set out to do, begin with yourself. If you want your child to be disciplined and responsible, you must be disciplined and responsible. There is no way you can give away to your child anything you don't own yourself, so you must begin with you.

We have really messed up this principle in our sense of outreach or as many call it, evangelism. So much time is spent investing in better and more effective outreach, however outreach must begin with you first. In order to be most effective in your outreach, you must reach yourself first. Everything begins with you personally. This has been violated over and over when it comes to making disciples. Jesus commands those who follow Him to make disciples of Him. The problem is that most of those who are leading discipleship classes haven't learned to be a simple follower of Jesus yet. Therefore, making disciples has been most ineffective.

When you judge with conclusion, common sense, judgment, it's vital that you look at yourself first. Don't go after the speck in your brother's eye, until you have taken the log out of your own eye. It's all a matter of perspective. Once you remove the log out of your eye, then you will be able to see clearly how to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

What's interesting is that when you haven't dealt with your own "stuff", you tend to pick away and condemn others for whatever their "stuff" happens to be. And, when you haven't dealt with your own "stuff", there are two problems that emerge. First-you lack any credibility to help another with his problem. Second-with a log in your eye you can't see well enough to help anyone else. In fact, you'll probably poke your brother's eye out while attempting to be a helper.

The violation of this secret, SECRET #34, is rampant among those who call themselves Christians or followers of Jesus. It's even come to the point that the favorite indoor sport for most churches is to come together weekly and confess the sins of the world! The follower of Jesus judges himself first.