Judgment vs. “Judgmentalism”

There are two incidents in the life of Jesus which I would like to juxtapose. In one incident, he upbraids the money-lenders in the temple, fashioning a scourge and driving them into the streets. In another incident, he is with the “woman at the well” who has been caught in adultery. He merely tells her to “go and sin no more.”

That does not make sense. Anyone knows that sex is “dirtier” than financial shenanigans (wink, wink) and why would Jesus be so lenient on this woman and so harsh with the “job creators” of the day?

I think Jesus was demonstrating judgment. He could have come down harshly with either matter; or, he could have been lenient with either. It was his choice. He was demonstrating that judgment can involve being very harsh or disapproving; but it can also be very forgiving. But in either instance, “judgment” is exercised.

You cannot be human without exercising judgment. For example, you are exercising this faculty even as you read this—you can choose to continue reading this or you can stop! You can respond with lavish praise or you can send hate mail! Yes, instead of praise, you could send money…and if you do so, please send tons of it! These are choices you are making.

And Jesus was demonstrating that there is no hard fast rule you can follow about many matters. For example, if you try to make the Bible into a rule book you will find yourself mired in the “letter of the law” and will soon be a very unlikeable, “judgmental” chap…or chappette! From day to day you have to make choices about when to speak up, to take action, and when to merely let something pass or when to actively forgive someone for some offense. Remember, “Judge not that ye be not judged.”

 

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One thought on “Judgment vs. “Judgmentalism”

  1. mtsweat

    Yes, so true good friend. And yet, it’s what our nature tries desperately to do (I speak directly to me). Every time I turn around, there I find myself ego bound in arrogance thinking I’ve mastered some semblance of the Law’s demands. Our faith calls us to recognize that Jesus (and He alone) kept and fulfilled the Law. If we will be found law-keepers, it will be only because we are adorned with His perfect robe. Then, if we are most fortunate, He will give us the strength to learn of Him and to become more like Him as we meander through our given time here. Great word! Blessings

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