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Examine Scripture

Romans 2:1-4

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Judging Others…

Do not be too judgmental of others, especially when you are far from perfect yourself:

“Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things. We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true. Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God would lead you to repentance?” -Romans 2:1-4 NAB

As Catholics and Christians, this can be one of the easiest traps for us to fall into.  We grow in our relationship with Christ, and we slowly begin to move our life in a different direction.  However, as we look back, we begin to see others who are not living up to the same standard as us, and we will begin to judge them for it.  No matter how tempting this may be, we must not fall into this sinful pattern.

Meanwhile, there is an opposite side to this coin.  There are those who have become so afraid of being judgmental that they do not say anything at all.  They see their brothers and sisters in Christ going down the wrong path, but they choose not to say anything.  In our society, it might be impolite or “politically incorrect” to say something, so they don’t.  This is a sin of omission.  Whether we should correct our own life, or we should help someone else, the sin of omission is not about what we do; it is about what we don’tdo.

So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin. -James 4:17, NAB

Obviously, it can be a delicate balance between being over-judgmental and not doing anything at all.  Either extreme will surely lead us to sin.  But there is a balance that can be obtained, we just have to find it.  

Basically, when we see our brothers and sisters doing wrong, we must reach out to them.  Do not sit back and watch them continue down the wrong path, but, at the same time, do not judge them for their faults.  Reach out to help them with love in  your heart.  Do not be afraid to correct those who are doing wrong, yet ensure that you do not condemn them in  your own heart.

God is the ultimate judge.  Who are we to condemn anyone?  People may be doing wrong, but it is not our place to say what judgment God will bring upon them for it.  On the flip side, that does not mean that we sit back and watch others live a sinful lifestyle.  Navigating this course is as difficult as walking a tightrope, but it can be done.  One wrong step can lead to disaster in either direction, but it is a path we must take.  With strength from God and guidance from the Holy Spirit, we can all somehow manage this balancing act in our own lives.

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