Plain Talk: Judging or Discernment

Sunday we are talking plainly about how we — as Christians — treat one another. Who do we measure our actions? By our own viewpoints or do we allow ourselves to be influenced by the teachings of Jesus?

We are called upon to make decisions, to make judgments every day. We like to think we judge fairly and openly. But judgments can carry an edge of criticality and the power and right of one to pass judgment or censure on another. When we judge other people’s actions, we find ourselves often addressing their motives at the same time. When we see an action, it is easy to ascribe a motive to it that fits our storyline and not the other person’s.

Webster defines discernment as “to separate (a thing) mentally from another or others; recognize as separate or different; insight, keen perception. Discernment sees things as they are; judgementalism always looks at the events the way I see them and how I interpret them rather than waiting to ask questions and inquire as to why the person took that action. Jesus warns us to be able to look into our own hearts before we cast judgments.

Matthew 7:5 specifically speaks of removing the speck from our neighbor’s eye only after we have taken out the plank in our own eye. Double standards are created when we say one thing but do another.

It’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking our righteous judgment is truly discernment. The early church had problems with this, just as we do today. Let’s see if we can learn from their mistakes and get back on a better path.

See you Sunday,

Rev. Andrea Andress
Deacon, Director of Spiritual Formation and Discipleship
andrea@pvumc.org
602-840-8360, ext 142

“We invite you to join us on a shared journey of life and faith, open to all, regardless of age, ability, economics, color, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, politics, theology or anything else that might separate us from each other. Whoever you are and wherever you may be on your spiritual journey, you’re invited to walk with Christ in community with all of God’s children, and embrace the endless possibilities of God’s unconditional love.”

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