I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. (1 Cor. 5:3)
Expanded Passage: Matthew 18:15–17; 1 Corinthians 5:1–5; 2 Corinthians 2:5–8
We normally think of judging as a negative thing. Jesus himself said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned” (Luke 6:37). To be labeled “judgmental” is one of the worst criticisms that can be made of a Christian. If there is one thing our culture cannot abide, it is a person who believes he or she has the right to make judgments about others.
But judging is not always negative or wrong. A friend of mine was recently asked to serve as a judge for a statewide competition. For about a week, he posted a string of pictures on social media that showed him grinning in the company of contestants and celebrities. He clearly enjoyed being a judge! And judges perform a vital role in government by making the difficult decisions that ensure justice in our society.
When it comes to the lifestyle of Christians, the church has both the responsibility and the authority to decide which beliefs are correct, what behaviors constitute as sin, and when to call believers to account for their doctrines or actions. It is neither hypocritical nor harsh for the church to make such judgments on those within the house of faith. In fact, the church is negligent when it fails to do so.
Pray for discernment in your church’s leaders.
Lawrence W. Wilson lives in rural Indiana where he enjoys cycling, yardwork, and reading. He is a freelance writer and editor, and coauthor of The Long Road Home (WPH).
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.