I have already passed judgment on the one who did this. (1 Cor. 5:3)

WE NORMALLY THINK OF JUDGING as a negative thing. Jesus himself said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged” (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 beauty pageant. 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 is an author, thinker, and believer in the power of God. He is the author of A Different Kind of Crazy (WPH) and co-author of The Long Road Home (WPH).