Sunday, January 27, 2019

Judgment Call

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Distances, depths—I confess it, I just can’t judge them. I think I go a little mental. Judge-mental, maybe? There’s a shelf in the deepest part of our garage. I know the car is in far enough when the WD40 crashes onto the hood. That’s when I think, “Okay. Perfect.”

Of course, “perfect” to me looks more like hail damage to my husband.

When it comes to judgment, distance from bumper to shelf is one thing. People? They’re another.

Sometimes we’re labeled judgmental by others when we call sin, sin. But God has already decided what’s sin and what’s not. He has already judged. And people do sometimes get upset when we agree with the judgment of God. But isn’t that a little like yelling at your opponent in a tennis match when the line judge calls your ball out? 

We are judgmental, though, when we think it could never happen to us. Or we forget that it already has. Or we convince ourselves that someone else’s sin is worse than ours. Paul spells it out clearly for us in Romans 2:1-3. “If you think you can judge others, you are wrong. When you judge them, you are really judging yourself guilty, because you do the same things they do. God judges those who do wrong things, and we know that his judging is right. You judge those who do wrong, but you do wrong yourselves. Do you think you will be able to escape the judgment of God?” NCV. We may consider it a judgment call. But it’s not the judgment we’re called to.

Not only are we being judgmental when we’re all too happy to point out someone else’s failure, but it’s the kind of judgment that boomerangs right back around to smack us on the hood, WD40 style. In Matthew 7:1-2, Jesus himself teaches, “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you,” HCSB.

Jesus goes on in this passage to show us how ridiculous we are when we consider ourselves someone else’s judge. He says in verses 3-5, “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye,” HCSB. 

It’s a ridiculous kind of pride that says, “Hey, never mind the 2x4 sticking out of my head. You’ve got a little shmutz on your face. Let me get that for you.” Or like me giving parking lessons. Blind to our own wrongs, but able to see others’ wrongs clearly? There’s just something wrong with that. 

God is the only righteous judge. We do well when we leave the judgment to Him. That hypocritical kind of judgment? That’s definitely the kind of judgment we need to shelve. 

Yep, put it on the shelf and leave it there. And then hope I don’t park near it.

Judgement Call - leaving hypocritical judgement on the shelf. Insight from @RhondaRhea on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist for lots of great magazines, including HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and more. She is the author of 10 nonfiction books, including How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? and coauthors fiction with her daughter, Kaley Faith Rhea. She and her daughters host the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ. Rhonda enjoys traveling the country speaking at all kinds of conferences and events. She and her pastor/hubs have five grown children and live in the St. Louis area.


  1. Not making any judgments here Ms. Rhonda, but will it be alright if I drive should we attend a conference together some day? What a valuable reminder ma'am. Thank you for sharing your heart with us today. Great reminder for us not to let our judgmental human nature intermingle with our Christian writing. God's blessings.

    1. Thanks loads, Jim. And yeah, way to go in the nonjudgment department lol!

  2. Agreed. Since our past, present & future sins - and those of our neighbors; and those of the strangers in the news - are covered by Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, focusing on Him & His grace should help us fight the sin of judgement which rears its ugly head when we focus on the sin.

  3. People accuse others of being judgmental when they don't understand what that other person or persons has/is going through. It happens sometimes when the person/persons being accused is trying to stand for the LORD.

  4. True, we're all in this together. Thanks for the comment. :)