Is it Judging or Accountability?
We live in a very open minded society. Anything and everything goes. Dare we say anything contrary to the “Live as you please” mentality it is considered judging. But does everything really fall into the judging category? When does accountability take effect and how can we avoid judging?
First off, what do these words mean? Judging is defined as, one who makes estimates as of worth or quality. While accountability means, liable to being called to account; answerable.
Who do you care about? Who do you love? Where do your standards come from, and why are they important to you?
When would you step in and offer advice to your friend or child when they were doing something wrong? How long would it take for you to change your own path? Would it be lying? Perhaps you wouldn’t bat an eyelash until it was as severe as adultery. Do you let your children watch whatever they want, or do you prefer kid friendly viewing? Do you only step in if it is physically harmful?
I feel I have upped the bar since I have become a parent. It has transformed my thinking of love. My kids are my heart beat. I invest in them, day in and day out. Training, guiding, loving them, until I fall onto my pillow at night, only to be woken by their smiling faces a few hours later ;) But in all honesty, I want to give my kids the very best I know how. I take the knowledge I learn from the Bible, my parents, those I respect, and life experience to formulate these standards. Although definitely not perfect, I have a goal, and I try to teach them the best I know how with the knowledge I have in any given season.
Feel good society
Understanding my love for my children, I thought, “hmm…why would I want anything less for myself or my friends?” Is it the freedom? The choice? I am old enough, so I should do whatever feels good, because society has told me I am old enough to make that choice? What does that mean? I am thankful for the choice, but why would I choose anything less than the best I know? We are still accountable to God, no matter what society says is right or wrong, or what everybody else is doing.
Yet society says let people live as they please; it is not your life. Don’t impose your convictions on someone else. We still get penalized for not wearing a seat belt, but if a friend is slowly drifting away from God, that is copacetic. I say no! I say love in its entirety. Care about their physical safety as well as their spiritual.
You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called today, so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.
How do we avoid Judging?
Don’t think yourself better or criticize another.
He who is without sin cast the first stone.
We are all sinful and in need of a Savior. Judging is condemning a person for their sin and piously looking down on them for their lowly position. Whereas with accountability you see a brother/sister sinning, you point out their sin in love, and help guide them towards the right path because you know the path they are going down is harmful. Merely recognizing that they are sinning is not judging; it is facts. It is how you respond to the sin that determines if you will judge or hold another accountable.
Make sure you aren’t willfully sinning yourself
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Don’t go scrounging around others business to find something to correct them on. Pay attention and deal with your own flaws first and foremost. But if you openly see something that isn’t Biblical with another share with them the truth.
It’s all about the heart issue
How do you view another when you see them sinning? Are you willing to help them, or have you already condemned them in your mind? Have you labeled them helpless because they have failed so much in the past? We are not their final judge. Although, despite what society tells us, we shouldn’t overlook their sin either. Sweeping it under the rug is not loving them because then they will never get the victory. We are slaves to whomever we obey, whether our sinful flesh or God (Romans 6:16) We need to pray for them, and encourage them with every opportunity we have, so that they may see the truth.
Confess your own sins
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
To God and perhaps even an accountability partner. By confessing your sins you are reminded that you are not perfect. That you are no better than the next guy. This puts us in a humble position as we hear when another is struggling with sin because no longer are we on the attack. We become empathetic. We realize we all need to be thankful for the grace of God.
Why should we ever feel the need to alter what someone else is doing?
God commands it
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage —with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Tim. 4:2
It is out of love for our friend!
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
We need to start evaluating why we believe what we believe. Where are our standards set? Be open and honest with your friends. It is your business to help others. So if people say you are judging, evaluate your heart, make sure you aren’t. Remember accountability and judging are two different things. One is out of love; one is out of selfish ambition.
Photo Credit: by Succo