Why we should be more judging

Why we should be more judging

Apr 29
Why we should be more judging

I have seen and heard a lot about public monuments bearing the words of the Ten Commandments.  While I appreciate the desire to have words from God on display in public, it makes me wonder:  why the Ten Commandments rather than the Beattitudes?

Why do we want the first words about God to be “Thou shalt not” rather than “Blessed are”?

It’s no wonder that the word “judge” has become a “4-letter word” in modern America.  The word has taken on a negative connotation – when we hear “judge” we tend to equate it with “condemn.”

Here are words of judgment that far too many people hear:  you are unworthy.  You are ugly.  I hate you.  Nobody likes you.  You’ll never amount to anything.  You aren’t good at anything.  You have no talent.  You are useless.  The world would be better without you.

No here are some words of judgment that not nearly enough people hear:  you are worthy.  You are beautiful.  I love you.  I’m proud of you.  You were great.  You have a gift.  I am so glad to have you in my life.

All of these are judgments.  Judging means that someone has weighed the evidence and come to a conclusion.  If I cannot judge you, then I cannot tell you that you are worthy.  Without judging you, I cannot tell you that you are amazing.  In order to tell you that I’m proud of you, I must pass judgment.

Our world could use a lot more judgment.

There is an old word for judgment.  It is the word “deem.”  Used in a sentence, it can say, “I deem you worthy” or “I deem you unworthy.”  To deem means to judge.  To evaluate.  To measure.

After sin came into the world, God deemed us sinful.  He deemed that we could not be in His presence.  He deemed that we could not have a relationship with Him.  He deemed that we were broken.  He deemed that we deserved death.

However, a beautiful thing happens when we add the prefix “re” to that word.  Deem becomes Redeem.  We know that “re” before anything means to do it again.  To be “redeemed” is to be judged again.  To be evaluated again.  To be measured again.

Jesus came to redeem the world.

Before Jesus, God deemed that we were sinful.  Through Jesus, God redeemed us from sin.

Before Jesus, we were deemed as deserving of death.  Jesus redeemed us to eternal life.

Before Jesus, we were deemed unworthy.  Jesus redeemed us as worthy.

It breaks my heart to see so much of this world stuck under what was initially deemed.  People have been judged harshly and negatively.  They have been told how unworthy they are, how terrible they are, how they can never be good enough.

They need to be redeemed.  They need to be judged again.

Every person who has been deemed unworthy needs to hear that they are worthy.  People need to hear that they are loved.  That they are valued.  That they matter.  That we are happy to share life with them.

It falls on those of us who have been redeemed to re-deem the rest of the world.  The sin in this world will continue to drag people down, to tell them that the first judgment, the first deeming of them is all that will ever be.  We need to give them the good news – that there is a new deeming, a re-deeming.  We are the only ones who can.  We are the only ones who will.  The rest of the world will continue to tear them apart and destroy them.

Perhaps it will help to think of the film “Saving Private Ryan.”  In the film, Private Ryan was rescued behind enemy lines by a squad of American soldiers who knew nothing about him.  In the end, the soldiers sent to bring him home were killed.  The dying words of the Captain to Private Ryan were “Be worth this.”  The film ends with a much older Ryan standing at the grave of the Captain who died for him.  He turns to his wife with tears in his eyes and begs her, “Tell me that I’m a good man.”  He needed to hear that he was worthy.  He needed to be re-deemed.

Someday, I hope that you get to hear God say, “You are worth it.  You are worth dying for.  And if I had to do it again a million million times, I’d do it every time for you because I love you so much.”  That is a judgment.  It is a judgment that people need to hear.

You, my friend, can be part of redeeming the world.  You can speak judgment to the world.  Speak a worthy truth to the world.  Speak in a way that blesses others.  Bless and do not curse.  Speak in a way that lifts the spirits of those around.  Everybody else will tear them apart – be the one who puts them back together again, who rejudges them and breathes new life into them the same way that God breathed life into you.

I close with these words from the apostle Paul, describing the types of words we should share with the world, words that I believe are perhaps even more important than when Paul first wrote them:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8

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