Reprove, Rebuke, and Exhort

2 Timothy 4:1-2  I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Many people think that Matthew 7:1 forbids judging, and they use it as an excuse to just sit by and endorse sin by keeping our mouths shut, but if you have read the definitions of the highlighted words above you know that the Bible tells us that there are situations that we can correct,  express disapproval, criticize sharply, and warn people away from sin. All of those things are kinds of judging. So Matthew 7:1  can’t mean what people think it means. If you read down to Matthew 7:5 you will discover that it is referring to hypocritical judgement.

This isn’t an excuse to be mean and nasty, if you reread 2 Timothy 4:1-2 you will see that it ends with the phrase “with complete patience and teaching”. While there are forms of judging we can and should do, we should not do it with the purpose of making the person feel below you, we are to teach them with patience. Sometimes we may have to speak sharply like when some drunk person wants to drive a car filled with kids, but that kind of judging should be limited to situations that demand action that minute. If you are judging because you care, and not out of hate, it is a legitimate thing to do. Just remember that God is love, and wants you to behave with love too.

graphic6_738x90

 

 

Definition of Judge

judge

verb ˈjəj

: to form an opinion about (something or someone) after careful thought

: to regard (someone) as either good or bad

via The Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

Does anyone think that it is even possible to go through life without forming a careful opinion?

The verses in the Bible that to often get interpreted as saying we should not judge at all, are really telling us how to judge, not that we should not judge at all.

In righteousness shall you judge your neighbor

Leviticus 19:15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Please visit my bookstore for book recommendations.