By Mark Verkler

Righteous judgment versus unrighteous judgment is one of the most important things in my counseling practice when I work with people. If we judge others or ourselves incorrectly, we go into a ditch (or away from goodness). If we don’t judge at all, we go into the ditch of relativism.

Remember the Bible says, “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter” Isaiah 5:20

God is bringing us towards truth and bringing us towards sanity, but we have to understand what is good and bad. God is a God of justice.

 

Prideful judgment is one of the biggest ditches with judgment. In the Bible, Jesus tells a story of two men who went up to pray: one was a Pharisee, and one was a tax collector.  The Pharisee prayed to himself this way: “I thank you God that I’m not like the tax collector.” Because of his prideful judgment, he thought that he was better than the tax collector. He was just talking to himself. God doesn’t hear those prayers full of pride.

The essence of pride is – I’m not like you.

It’s very common for children to think this growing up toward their parents. It’s common for all of us to judge ourselves, believe it or not, with pride, or past self-condemnation. It is also common to judge others with pride: “I’m not like you.” Can you believe that we even judge God with pride? “I wouldn’t do it that way, God!”

 

Here’s a prayer for repentance from pride or prideful judgment: Lord, I join the Apostle Paul and say, I am the chief of sinners. I’m no better than any other. Lord, forgive me for my pride. I agree with James 2:10: for the person who keeps all of the laws, except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. Amen.

 

Humility

 

This is judging with humility.

Galatians 6:1 shows this beautifully. “My beloved friends, if you see a believer who is overtaken with a fault, may the one who overflows with the Spirit seek to restore him. Win him over with gentle words, which will open his heart to you and will keep you from exalting yourself over him.”

We must have judgment without bitterness. We need to approach others with forgiveness and love and without pride. The Lord says that’s righteous judgment. If we could avoid those ditches, we’re going to be following God’s plan for judgment.

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