I take notice today that there are actually two sides to judging: there is judging, and there is being judged. Both are important and both are something we should be without. We don’t talk very much about the second one, but it may be harder to get rid of than the first.
Being judged may be hard to get rid of because it can happen to you without it happening. In other words, you may feel judged even though no one is judging you.
Quite often, the reason we feel judged is because we are judging others instead of ourselves.
Actually, these two are inextricably tied to each other. We judge others for what we are guilty of ourselves. It’s how we try to get rid of our guilt — find someone who is “more guilty” than we are so we can feel better about ourselves without having to actually face our sin. The very fact that you are judging someone almost always means you are guilty of the same thing, otherwise you wouldn’t see it in them. That’s why Jesus told us not to judge unless we want to be judged by the same judgment with which we judge, because they are one and the same thing.
The guy who screams out against pornography is obviously someone who has a pornography problem, otherwise he wouldn’t be so mad about it. When preachers rail against something it is almost always because they are covering their own guilt. It’s a vicious cycle — feeling guilty, judging others for what we are guilty of, and finally, feeling judged by those who may not even be judging us at all. All of this can happen wrapped up inside your own head.
How do you get rid of all this and stop playing these games? The answer to that is found in 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” By coming clean, admitting our own sin, confessing it to the Lord and to others, especially those we have sinned against and those we have judged, our whole view changes. As far as judging goes, we’ve already come to grips with our own sin. Based on that, everyone else looks pretty good. And as far as being judged goes, we have already been judged and been forgiven, so it’s all about grace now — grace for ourselves and grace turned outwards to everyone else. That’s all that’s left — sinners saved by grace.
Step away from the judging game and cover yourselves with the grace of God.