Protecting From Evil
There are a number of places in Scripture that tell us not to judge. At the same time there are a number of places that warn us about sharing time and space with those that carry evil, are evil or are actually doing evil. How to square the circle with these opposing principals?
It sounds like, in Matthew 7 1:2 (NKJV) it is very clear how “judgement” works. This is how Jesus, being His words, promises to hold us in judgement as we judge situations and people around us and in our lives.
1 Judge not, that you be not judged.
2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you
We also learn later in Matthew how important our words are and if how Jesus feels about language that is offensive – “brood of vipers” sounds pretty serious when referencing people that use inappropriate words.
Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matt. 12:33–37)
That sounds pretty clear. Being judged is not the worst thing that can happen to a person. If we go around passing judgement against our brothers and sisters for no reason that is simply wrong. If we have reason to judge / measure a situation or evaluate a person’s behavior or words, that seems to be altogether different. But how do we know when this is necessary or unnecessary?
II John 1 (NKJV) seems to put a fine point on how judgement of others works and the consequences of not following Jesus’ word.
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.