Question 34: How does one judge the fruits of others without being judgmental?

***DISCLAIMER***The following is far from an exhaustive answer to the question. it is simply an answer nonetheless.

Recently, someone asked me how one judges the fruits of others without being judgmental. What follows is the question followed by my response to it.

THE QUESTION

What’s the difference between judging others by their fruits and being judgmental? How do you judge others by their fruits without being judgmental?

THE ANSWER

Greetings,

One must consider the definition of “judgmental” when answering this question. According to Merriam-Webster, to be judgmental is to be “characterized by a tendency to judge harshly.” One can judge someone by his/her fruits without needing to be harsh. However, if one is constantly harsh in his/her judgments when judging the fruits of others, then that person is being judgmental. One can judge others by their fruits without being judgmental by simply not being constantly harsh in his/her judgments.

Scripture gives some clear instructions on how one is to judge the fruits (or perhaps the teachings) of others. Jesus states in John 7:24 to judge with righteous judgment. In other words, we judge others only when we have judged ourselves using the same standard. In 2 Timothy 4:1-2, the apostle Paul, in his charge to Timothy to preach the word, states, “reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (NASB). When one rebukes another, it must be done with great patience. Finally, in discussing the qualification of an elder, Titus 1:7-9 states “the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (NASB). In short, when judging the fruits of others, one must not be hypocritical, harsh, quarrelsome, impatient or quick-tempered. Instead, the person must be patient, hospitable, slow to anger and of a fair standard. While the person doing the judging may have to name names (3 John 9; 2 Timothy 3:8; 4:10, 14; Galatians 2:11-14; 1 Timothy 5:20) and/or mark and avoid those who contradict sound doctrine (Romans 16:17), harshness should not be a normal characteristic for the one that is judging the fruits of others.

I hope you found this helpful.

Advertisements

One thought on “Question 34: How does one judge the fruits of others without being judgmental?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s