Tuesday, April 7, 2015

1 Corinthians 6:2 -- On Judging

"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?"
1 Corinthians 6:2

This is Paul writing to the Corinthians, and just to clarify, the "saints" he was writing to here were the regular members of the church, not a separate group of extra cool ones, so it still applies to us. :)

This seems like an admonition for judging, which seems weird, right, since Christ said "Judge not" (Matthew 7:1)?  However, Christ also said "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). So, what is it?  Are we supposed to judge or not judge?  Like the scriptures about resisting evil, I think it is a case where sometimes we should and sometimes we shouldn't, and the idea is to get us to think about what we're doing a lot more carefully.

After Christ says judge not, he says "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."  I think that shows that it is better to reserve judgment than to jump in and make a bad judgment.  With people, refusing to judge and allowing them to grow and change and become without our condemnation is probably a good things.  Ezra Taft Benson also said "Never demean yourself," and Gordon B Hinckley said "I hope you will never demean or belittle yourselves."  These seem to agree with Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:3: "I judge not mine own self."  Judging ourselves and others is a bad idea... that judgment belongs to God.

So, what exactly *are* we supposed to judge?  Perhaps "matters" as Paul mentions above.  In this chapter, Paul is basically talking about lawsuits (although of course legal matters were handled somewhat differently when he wrote).  He's saying that we shouldn't sue each other, and that we can decide those things on our own.  I think that also helps us to understand that we do need to make judgments every day.  Not ones that condemn or dismiss people, or belittle ourselves, but ones that determine our path.  We have to choose which job to take and sometimes which friends to have.  We have to determine our actions, choose our influences, and in some ways "judge the world."  We should judge between right and wrong, and choose the right.  We should promote good, and bring to pass righteousness... and we can't do that without making some judgments and choosing a path.

Today, let's make some judgments about the world around us and figure out how to make things better within our spheres of influence.  Let's choose to be influences for good, and stand up for what is right.  Let's judge righteous judgment, and be willing to take action to make the world better.

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