For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (NKJV)
If you are not a secret service Christian, you will often hear “the Bible says don’t judge!” in response to any standard, principle or commandment that goes against the world.
This childish little phrase – “the Bible says don’t judge” – causes Christians to shrink in speechless fear. I’ve written about this several times so I’m not gonig to cover that particular aspect here. What I do want to talk about is the kind of judgment that Bible actually says don’t have: judgment without mercy.
Judgment is the righteous evaluation of right and wrong. Murder is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Sexual immorality is wrong. We JUDGE those things to be wrong. Ironically, everyone who says “don’t judge” is making a judgment. We make, and SHOULD MAKE, judgments all day long. We are to constantly judge right from wrong, good from best, Godly from worldly, Biblical from unBiblical.
Judgment without mercy however, is never right. Judgment without mercy could be “stealing is wrong, and I hope you rot in hell for stealing from me.” Judgment without mercy is “you are a sinner and I’m glad you aren’t saved because you don’t deserve it”. Judgment without mercy is “gossip is wrong, and I hope you suffer for gossiping about me”. Judgment without mercy is seing the bum, the drug addict or the criminal and not caring if they ever overcome those things.
Judgment without mercy is seeing wrong, but not seeing a solution or forgiveness. Judgment without mercy is being keenly aware of trangressions but not keenly aware of compassion.
For those who judge without mercy, no mercy will be shown. That is a very sobering thought. I have seen, and surely have been guilty myself at times, Christians being judgmental without balancing it with true mercy. As Christians, we engage in righteous judgment. That is a reality, and Godly. As mature Christians we should always saturate judgment with mercy and realize that mercy TRIUMPHS over judgment. In other words, judgment alone is worth less than mercy alone. In fact, judgment alone is worthless. Ideally, we need have the correct balance of both, but if we must err, we should err on the side of mercy.
Don’t pass that over too quickly folks. Think about how you treat others: if you must err, err on the side of mercy. Think about your secret attitude towards others: if you must err, err on the side of mercy. Mercy always triumphs judgment.
Lord God, help us to be merciful; help us to judge rightly, but judge with mercy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?