Posts Tagged ‘Judging others’

“Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; Incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, To which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.” (Psalm 71:2-4)

meI came across this picture today. Well not this exact image. I altered it and reposted the new photo here. The original was just a black and white photograph of the president with the added Bible passage down the right side. I later superimposed my image over Mr. Obama‘s.

I had to.

Admittedly, when I first saw (and read) the unaltered picture, my first thought was, “Yeah! That shoe fits him very well!” I easily surmised that he was in fact guilty. But then the Holy Spirit chimed in. “Dave,” the Father said inaudibly, “That shoe fits you very well, too.”


I didn’t want to hear that, but the bell had been rung and I could not un-ring it. Because I had reacted the way I had, I felt compelled by the same Spirit to slap my ugly mug over the president’s kisser. The Lord knows that this feat was in no way an endorsement of the president’s practices and policies, but rather an indictment against my own. Arguably, the president’s actions are more grievous and far-reaching, but that does not negate the abominable things I have pulled off through the years.

Who is the Cruel Man?

As God would have it, Psalm 71 was part of my Bible reading this morning. With the above image still fresh in my mind I read, “Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man,” and I quickly deduced that I was the cruel man. I say that not to discount the reality of satan, or his minions, or the enemies of Christ Jesus, for they also fit the bill, but rather to recognize that I am my own worst enemy. For this reason I believe the Apostle Paul penned these words:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Romans 7:18-19

It’s for this cause we are to reckon our own flesh dead.

Defending the President

Please hear me on this: I am not defending the president. However, neither am I saying that we cannot judge the reprehensible words or actions of another person. That’s an unbiblical doctrine as well. If I could proffer a quick tutorial on judging others, there are three kinds: Judging unto condemnation, judging to identify, and judging to restore. The first is not allowed, but the last two are. If you don’t agree, please leave your (kind) comments below and we’ll discuss.

What I am merely pointing out is that although sin is rampant, when we recognize transgression in others, we better be prepared for the Holy Spirit to point out ours. Having said that (and this is so very important), by the finished work of Jesus upon the cross, Christians are forgiven; our sins have been washed away by the blood of the Messiah and they are remembered no more. When the Holy Spirit convicted me this morning (in regard to the president’s picture), it was not over my former sin, but because I was waxing condemningly, as there was (for a brief moment) not a restorative thought in my heart or soul. I was quickly reminded that my offensives of yore were just as much an abomination to the Father, and Jesus restored and redeemed me.

So can we judge the actions (or inaction) of the president, or anyone else for that matter? Yes, if it is for the purpose to identify sin and then (hopefully) to restore the transgressor through prayer and obedience to the directives of God’s Holy Spirit. At the same time, merely turning the spotlight on another sinner is grossly insufficient and borders on condemnation.  Don’t be afraid to flick on that light, but neither be afraid to step out from behind it to help a soul to his feet. This is the will of God.

Please continue to pray for the president and for our nation.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:7-9)

About the Blog

I write a Christian blog. If you haven’t yet noticed, it’s called ‘He Dwells.’

He, of course refers to Jesus Christ. Dwells, on the other hand, is a play on words. In Isaiah 33:5 we see that Jesus is exalted, for ‘He dwells’ on high, and John 14:17 reminds us that ‘He dwells’ with us and in us. D. Wells also happens to be my name, so when I see ‘He dwells’ written out everyday, I am reminded that Christ is alive in me and my Christian brothers and sisters — praise be to Him!

The B’log in My Eye

The ‘B’log in My Eye,’ is the subtitle of my blog. I chose that little phrase based on the doctrine found in Matthew 7, which reads:

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank (log) in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a log (plank) is in your own eye?

As I wrote on my home page, “The title reminds me that I’m God’s work-in-progress as well.  In other words, the stuff I write is for me  too; these are things I need to remember or practice or avoid as I walk along the Christian path of faith. So, if the Holy Spirit convicts you through any of these words or Bible verses, please know that He probably convicted me first.”

Beneath the title of the blog, there is a brief description that reads, “Discussing the Christian walk with intention and purpose.” Those eight words are intended to say a lot. First, the blog is a discussion. It’s meant to be a dialog, which is why there is a comment section. If you have nothing to say, well that’s ok too. Clicking the like button (or share, or subscribe) is also another way to keep the discussion going. Liking the blog (when you like it, of course), is very encouraging to me!

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Secondly, the blog is Christian. Seldom do I write about other topics.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

Thirdly, and more specifically, the blog focuses upon our Christian walk, both yours and mine, and how the Lord seeks to improve and refine us on a daily basis. The Bible is my primary source of information. After that, I will only draw upon reliable Christians and Christian resources. If I do cite a secular person or perspective, it typically is only for illustrative purposes or to show contrast between the Word of God and faulty worldly counsel.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

That brings us to the intention of the blog (which you may have already discerned): to mature us in faith, through God, via His Holy Spirit. For this reason [primarily] I always include Bible scripture. The last thing I want to do is offer my opinion; the first thing I want to do is share His truth.

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21)

Finally, there is the purpose, which is to glorify God. If the Father is not glorified in some manner within the text, I have failed.

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15)

The Dilemma

The blog is intended to be read by Christians and non-believers led to the site having been drawn by the power of the Holy Spirit. In other words, it’s written to a general, not-so-specific audience. Because of this, occasionally, scoffers and other wicked folks stumble in and are deeply offended. The opening Proverb reminds me that I run the very real risk of bringing shame, harm, and hatred upon myself as a result. This cannot be avoided. Of course the flip side is that the ‘wise man‘ will love me (in a Godly appropriate manner) and will grow in a God-intended way.

All that reminds me of this passage:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Lest I forget, I too once scoffed at Christians, while habitually partaking of wicked things. I hated, I harmed, and I shamed, but Jesus did not give up on me. He hounded and pursued me, and was there when I finally crash-landed, simply asking, “Have you had enough yet, D. Wells?”

Jesus dwells indeed!

Anyway, I just wanted to throw that all out there. I hope you enjoy the articles and I pray they, my means of the Holy Spirit, propel you along the narrow path until Christ Jesus calls us all home. Please feel free to keep the discussion going by leaving a comment, liking, or sharing the post.

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Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

There is a popular pastor, sociologist, author, and speaker (who will remain nameless here) who likes to speak in a manner that disturbs the listener so that they might think more deeply on the subject matter he presents. The technique is cleverly concealed by his adroit sense of humor, so only occasionally are folks enraged. In one of his more popular speeches he uttered a popular four-letter word in order to shock the audience and thus make a point. It’s said in many circles that the message was successful, so much so that this singular line is cited both in and out of the church when the subject is broached.

Three points I want to raise (without disturbance or humor):

  1. Is Jesus pleased?
  2. Do the ends justify the means?
  3. Should Christians emulate the behavior?

The answer to all three  is no — Jesus is not pleased. He would never have us sin to make a point. Good results do not justify bad behavior. Hence, this is a style that no follower of Christ should copy.

There’s no getting around the Word of God:

“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.” Colossians 3:8

Am I judging this preacher/sociologist/author/speaker?


…but not unto condemnation. I am judging him for the purpose of identification — he is an example of what not to do. This manner should not be copied (or even cited) regardless of how effective we think the technique is. The truth of the matter is that when we purposely sin (and using profanity is a sin), we are operating in the flesh and not in the Spirit.

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. James 3:1-2

It bears repeating: I am not judging this man unto condemnation. Each of us has stumbled in word at one time or another. We are all sinners saved by grace. The issue is that we should learn from each other’s mistakes, not repeat them lest we glorify the deeds of man, and thus dishonor, disrespect, and disobey God.

Turning Away

I don’t know if this man ever repented, and frankly, it’s not any of my business. But as believers in Christ Jesus, and His followers, we should be filtering everything we ingest through the Word of God. If the things we see and hear do not hold up to the Father‘s scrutiny, they should be summarily rejected.

Let no man be fooled into going backwards.

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:17-23

  1. What do these verses say about God?
  2. What do they say about us?
  3. What should be our response? 

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And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32
That’s Some List!

Isn’t that quite a list. I have got to tell you, it is such a tremendous feeling knowing that in my atonement I have left all that deviant and perverse nonsense behind. I mean what was I thinking being wrapped-up in such trash. I most certainly was as Paul says, “deserving of death.” But what’s that last part Paul wrote — something about those who approve of those who practice such deeds? I don’t do that; I don’t approve of murder, and violence, and evil things, do I?

Therefore you are inexcusable…Romans 2:1a

I wasn’t ready for that. If I watch TV and movies that portray these activities, it effectively reveals that I am sympathetic to their cause — there’s no way to get around it. If I listen to gossip, rather than actually contribute, I am culpable. If the books I read portray corruption, I am blameworthy. If I opt to remain silent in full view of some depraved or immoral activity, I might as well be doing it myself. In my observances, and occasionally in my silence, I am slapping a big ol ‘Amen’ on everyone else’s sin.

Good Judge/Bad Judge

O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. Romans 2:1b

Paul is going to continue and ultimately lay down two basic components of our faith: forgiveness and repentance. The good news is that by God’s grace, Christians are not condemned if they have done, or are doing, these things. However, as we grow in our devotion and commitment to Christ, there is a faithful expectation that we will turn from these things as God reveals them to be objectionable. If we choose to continue in them we are not jeopardizing our salvation necessarily, but we are laying the foundation for spiritual stagnation, frustration, and distress in our Christian walk.

It’s called compromise.

If your faith journey is blahzey, this might very well be the cause.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

The issue that Paul wanted us to be most mindful of, in this our hypocritical condition, is that we do not find ourselves condemning others for the same behavior we errantly support. But don’t receive Paul’s communication inaccurately though — he’s not proclaiming, “don’t ever judge, ” but rather that we should never do it condemningly. The judgments we are called to pronounce are done in Christian love and for the purpose of identification and/or restoration.

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 

So, are you inexcusable? 

  1. What do these passages say about God?
  2. What do they say about you?
  3. What’s your proper recourse?

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So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field, to his flock, and said to them, “I see your father’s countenance, that it is not favorable toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me…Yet your father has deceived me…” Genesis 31:4-5, 7aMirrors Do Not Lie

Jacob was not lying—the portrayal and disclosure regarding his father-in-law was an accurate one. But I submit to you that Jacob’s aptitude for recognizing character flaws came easily because his subject’s behavior was merely reflective of his own. Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew gives us further insight.

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ’Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5

When we examine the original language in which this text was recorded we discover that that the speck so easily identified in others is actually a splinter of the same piece of wood we possess. Did you get that? That speck is not similar to our portion; it is the same exact thing only smaller. No wonder recognition is effortless!

That’s Good News!

Our propensity to identify imperfection (in others) is inevitable—how we use the talent is what Jesus desires we consider. We are being told that when we experience the judging urge we should liberally purge. Judging others is not necessarily inappropriate mind you, but who would listen to a diatribe concerning alcohol abuse (for an example) if the professor were stinking drunk.

The Speck in Your Eye

A lot of the time we find ourselves on the receiving end of these declarations. When this occurs there are two things to mull over. First, your accuser might be on to something and we should not summarily dismiss the indictment because he is stinking drunk (for an example). The second issue is to be cognizant that your petitioner might have a larger problem. Suddenly the tables have been turned and we find ourselves in a position of restoration. How should we proceed? Consider wise council…

Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14

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