Synonyms for judging: discern, assess, observe, look, watch, and love
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You want to help them identify the ruling motives of the heart, which should be a God-centered passion that drives all their behaviors.
If you treat others harshly regarding how you “judge” (care for) them, do not be surprised if they fire something back at you in the same unkind manner in which you spoke to them.
It is unwise to correct any individual if you do not have genuine affection for them. But if you do have genuine affection for them, you’re in the best possible place to be a caring friend.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. – Proverbs 27:6
It would be unkind not to come alongside your friend to bring correction. Of course, you do not come making statements but asking questions because you’re not omniscient: you will always be missing something.
For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. – Luke 6:43-45
The things that we do come from our hearts. There is no discontinuity between what we do and who we are at the innermost part of our being.
If you never made a mistake when confronting someone it would be a plus, but you and I are not a perfect replication of Christ. We will make mistakes in our assessments from time to time, but that’s “okay” as long as you admit your mistakes while continuing to develop the relationship.
Making a mistake in a relationship is an excellent opportunity to build deeper into the relationship. The folks I build the deepest with are the ones who were humble enough to allow me to misjudge and even sin against them. Their humility governed their forgiveness and, in spite of my mistakes, we became close friends.
Though I am fallible, I must not stop trying to discern the people that I am discipling. If I do stop trying to discern others because of my fear of making a mistake, my care for them will be weakened or nonexistent.
Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and in 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).