using judgment


Gospel According to Saint Matthew

The third part of the sermon on the mount.

[1] Judge not, that you may not be judged, [Matthew 7:1] [Latin] [2] For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. [3] And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? [4] Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye? [5] Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

[36] Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. [Luke 6:36] [Latin] [37] Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven. [38]

How does this prohibition relate to using our judgment in relation to friends and acquaintances that are habitual sinners against the commandments of God and the traditions of the Church? Should we shun, avoid, or not talk to “committed” homosexuals and or drug users who violate the Fifth and Six Commandments to protect ourselves and have peace of mind? "Using your better judgment " to choose friends wisely and judging, condemning, or electing yourself the punisher of sin must be two different things, right? Is leaving them to their sins and not trying to turn them from their sinful ways a form of punishment? What if you think it is not very likely they will listen to you if you try?

The passage you cite in fact says the opposite of your interpretation. We seek to lovingly teach sinners the truth and bring them towards the righteous path, but we do not shun them and we do not presume to say that we are superior to them. We are all sinners – we are all equivalent to the worst sinner – and still Jesus died for our sins. We are called to teach, and to love, but we have no standing to judge.

This is not to say that we are obligated to seek out those who engage in sin and take them as our companions, but it is not proper behavior to shun or avoid people because of their sins.

You should only avoid certain people if they become an occasion of sin for you or if you become an occasion of sin for them. Loving they neighbor does not always mean supporting their views and actions. Sometimes loving thy neighbor means pointing out the wolf in the room and this can be done without judging the individual. You must focus on the evil of the sin not the sinner. If our friends listen to our advice (provided its sound Catholic advice backed up by the Church) then we should understand that it was by no power of our own that this happened. If our friends do not listen to our advice then we should think the best of them anyway and understand that without the grace of God we could just as easly be in their position. Lasly it would be good to keep in mind that where one person struggles another might excel. Just because these individuals are having a struggle with the Fifth and Sixth Commandment does not make them any worse than you just because you’re only struggling with the 2nd and 8th Commandment.

We are to “admonish the sinner” and “instruct the ignorant”.

Of course we need to do so with the love of Christ in us.

There is an excellant article on this subject on this site.

Great article! Thank you.

That is a teaching that many do not understand.

What an instructive article about just this subject! The article confirms what I had been thinking about this passage. Thanks so much and God Bless you for this act of charity!

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