I could go on and on about that one, but suffice it to say, I would never have done anything that I believed harmed those children. I never forced any of them to participate in any competition, but I can make this observation from over 30 years of teaching: the ones who never competed never advanced as
quickly, and always quit after two or three years—no exception. The others made rapid progress and the majority of them stuck with it long enough to give a senior recital.
That spurred thoughts of the negative and positive aspects of “judging” in the scriptures. Usually all we hear is Judge not that you be not judged, and usually from someone who is doing something they ought not to be doing. There are many more occasions where we are either specifically told to judge or to do something that requires making a judgment.
Mark those that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them, Rom 16:17.
If a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness…Gal 6:1.
Shun profane babblings for they will proceed further in ungodliness, 2 Tim 2:16.
Believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits whether they are of God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world, 1 John 4:1.
Making judgments is essential to protecting those we love and saving those in error. I could go on and on, filling up page after page with scriptures like these. Sometimes judging is required. The trick is to do it properly. Jesus said in John 7:24, Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment. If I read the context of most of those passages above, I will see the guidelines the Holy Spirit has carefully laid out in how to judge righteously.
Being quick to judge others’ lives when I do not know the facts, when I am judging only by “how it looks,” and when I have never been in their shoes, flies in the face of the love I am commanded to have toward others. In that case, Judge not that you be not judged fits me to a tee. But using the excuse “I don’t want to judge their situation” when someone is lost in sin, is a cop-out that will not please the Father who watches over us.
Deliver them that are carried away unto death; and those that are ready to be slain, see that you holdback. If you say, Behold, we did not know this, does not he who weighs the hearts consider it? And he who keeps the soul, does he not know it? And shall he not render to every man according to his work? Prov
Ordinarily, I stay away from The Message. It is a paraphrase that takes far too many liberties with the scriptures; but I must say, I like its interpretation of the above, with my own added phrase—if he can paraphrase, so can I! “Rescue the perishing; don't hesitate to step in and help. If you say, ‘Hey, that's none of my business,’ [I don’t want to judge], will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know-- Someone not impressed with weak excuses.”
So there it is—I must judge, but carefully, wisely, righteously.