What d’ya think?


If you see a bunch of guys talking in tongues non-stop and acting crazy , what would you think?

“They’re overdoing it man. Why are they shouting?”

“I do believe in tongues, but I also believe in appropriate behavior in the presence of God.”

“What is going on here?”

“Look at the crazy ‘spiritual’ people. I think they’re acting or something.”

The same happened on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and were speaking in different tongues. Some in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, ‘They’re just drunk, that’s all!’ (Verse 13)

But there were three thousand others who listened with an open mind to Peter’s message, and that very day- they were baptized. The ones who poked fun missed out on God!

Recently, I happened to see a bunch of young guys and girls praying loud and interceding for their city. And I was battling with doubt in my head, was wondering if they are really filled or ‘acting filled’. I asked God immediately to help me not to judge any of them.

To judge means to – “Form an opinion or conclusion about.” When I read this definition, I was like, “According to this definition, I would have been judging all my life.”

There were 3000 others who sat through the ‘crazy time’ upstairs in the upper room, and gave them the benefit of doubt, and heard Peter out, and they were saved.

Some argue that we must be discerning and know whether they are right or wrong. I think we can use the same discernment in our own lives, and its not our ‘duty’ to express our opinion or ‘conclusion’ about everybody around us.

It is better not to judge and be foolish, than to judge and call God’s judgement upon yourself.  Jesus said in Mathew 7:1, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.” So if I judge, I will be judged by God. And if God really had to judge me according to my sins, I would be in hell, and if you continue judging, you will soon join me!

So next time you get tempted to immediately form opinions and draw conclusions, watch out!  David’s wife judged him when he danced before the Lord, and she was barren for life. And hello, she did it in private, and told only David about it, but God still punished her. Be especially careful if you’re in the habit of forming opinions quick, and are critical about everything, especially judging anointed servants of God (whether or not you think they are anointed).

The only one who can judge is the one who is always right and fair – God alone! Even Jesus dared not judge till he heard from his father.

Further reading: Read what stunning statements Jesus made about judging>>

John 8:14-16
14 Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. 15 You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone. 16 And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father[a] who sent me is with me.

John 12:47
I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.


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7 comments

  1. Good stuff Joy 🙂

    However, I must bring one thing to the table. You are absolutely right about not judging people. Who are we to judge? I get that bit. But consider people who do unjust things (you don’t have to judge someone to know that something is wrong) and get away with it, because they are supposedly ‘anointed’ by God. Remember, they are humans also and there have been a lot of times when people have used their positions to exploit people. So I would say ” Be informed”. And I am basing this on my personal experience. 🙂

    • Hey Karen,
      Thanks for reading and commenting.
      Well, we definitely have to be informed. You are right in saying that sometimes you don’t have to judge someone to know that something is wrong. God gives us that discernment already.
      Guess the question is what do we do about what we know – which is important.
      Even in my personal experience, the ones who were most unjust to me were Christian leaders themselves, and I understand your point fully well.
      However, over the years, God has just taught me to shut my mouth. If I know for a fact that someone is in deliberate sin or are exploiting their position as a servant of God, I have tamed myself
      to talk about it only to my best friend and now fiance, and then not talk about it to anyone else. It is sooo hard, but I still try to live up to that. And, ya, I talk about them extensively to God in prayer.
      Also, guess I was trying to address how we as Christians are quick to judge so-called ‘spiritual’ activities. Do you feel that point was not driven clearly?

  2. Scripture does not condemn “judging” per se. If that was the case, there would be no difference between right and wrong, between good and evil. What Scripture tells us to do is to stop judging hypocritically. In every context where God tells us not to judge, He is telling us to avoid and hate hypocritical judging. For instance, if we ourselves our secretly committing adultery, when we openly condemn someone who is an adulterer, we condemn ourselves. King David did exactly that when Nathan told narrated to him that parable (2 Samuel 12) and brought condemnation on himself. But in his judgment, David was not wrong. He was absolutely right about how the sinner ought to be punished. But he himself was condemned in the process because of his hypocrisy, NOT because he was being judgmental.

    It is BECAUSE we have the Word of God as our ultimate standard that we DO have a right to judge. And these judgments must only be based on the infallible Word of God, and not our own fallible human standards. The Scriptures you quoted are indeed true, but you’re interpreting them out of context. If what you said is true, how would you explain 1 Corinthians 6:1-6ff? Paul here COMMANDS us to judge each other – in righteousness.

    I understand what you’re trying to say – that since we’re all sinners, we don’t judge righteously and perfectly the way God does. But to conclude that we, as believers, cannot judge AT ALL is a misreading of Scripture and is, in fact, condemned by God. If we don’t judge, everything will be permissible and the line between righteousness and unrighteousness will be completely blurred. If we cease to judge, we will fail to carry out the Great Commission because there will be no one left to speak out against evil anymore…Good will be called evil, and evil good.

    Bottomline: We must judge based on God’s standard, while at the same putting ourselves under the scrutiny of God’s Word; and avoid hypocritical judging completely.

  3. It is true that God has given us the standard of black and white, right and wrong, and you bring up some valid points that we often judge others when that is the biggest sin found in our own lives. However, the main point of what you were saying is that God has given us instructions on judging others:
    Acts 11:2-18 Don’t be quick to judge
    Samuel 16:7; Luke 3:2 God’s standards are different than society’s standards
    Matthew 5:19 We’re experts at telling others what to do
    Matthew 13:40-43 Why judging should be left to God
    Matthew 13:47-49 We cannot know who will be in God’s Kingdom
    Matthew 16:27 We cannot judge others’ salvation
    John 8:7 We are to use compassion & forgiveness first
    1 Corinthians 5:12 There is a difference between judging others & dealing with their sin

    James warned against judging in James 4:11-12 NLT: “Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?”

  4. Paul mentions while addressing the gifts of the Spirit issue in the Corinthian church, that its better to speak a few words that make sense rather than many words that make no meaning.

    Speaking in Tongues in the company of even believers is still for personal edification unless someone in the crowd is able to interpret what is being spoken (interpreting of tongues is also a gift). My mind has often wandered on this topic and I have wondered as to why during worship someone is inspired to speak in tongues by the Holy Spirit when there is no one to interpret it! Why would God send a heavenly message in an unknown tongue? Is it because, probably the message is not for now but for later. Or probably because our minds register and we know later when the Holy Spirit will make it known to us in private! But if it is for later then why is the message given out in public and not given to us in private in our quiet time?

    The best example of speaking in tongues is the time when the disciples spoke on the day of Pentecost and everyone was able to understand it in their own language(Acts 2:6).

    While there can never be a totally right and a totally wrong stance on this matter, I guess its best to keep from judging.

  5. Thanks, all, for writing in. I really appreciate you taking out the time to write. However, I to clarify certain thoughts here. I was talking about judging more in the light of ‘condemning’,and writing off some people for the acts they do. There is a difference between discernment and judging.
    Discernment comes from the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of conviction, and helps us to discern between right and wrong, good and evil.
    Jesus clearly asked us not to judge anybody. And does that apply only to the sin of hypocrisy? I don’t think so. When the woman was caught in the sin of adultery, Jesus asked those to pelt a stone, who have never sinned. He did not say – only those who are not guilty of this particular sin, have the right to judge her and carry out the punishment against her, for her sin. Anyone who has sinned, has no right to judge. Only God reserves that right.
    Regarding what Paul talked about taking people to secular courts for judgement, he was clearly talking about legal issues, where Christians are unable to solve a problem within themselves, and go to a court of law.
    I think, as I said earlier, we might not pelt stones at people who, we think, or we know, are sinning, but we do a lot of damage by the words we speak against them.
    Secondly, I was not talking about the ‘sins’ of people, but about the spiritual activities we engage in which cause other fellow believers to wonder and most often, judge.
    Thanks, again, for sharing your opinion.
    Keep writing in!

  6. To judge or not to judge: to comment or not to comment: to speak or not to speak in tongues- the thoughts that plague our mind invariably when we see someone speaking in tongues: and all of us are guilty of it. While we can get all scriptural about it and quote scriptures in support of our viewpoint the truth often gets lost with all the references when the matter is very simple.

    So before I proceed any further, let me establish 2 facts-

    Glossolalia- means speaking in a language not known to the speaker or the audience(the event that Joy has described is a good example)

    Xenolalia- means speaking in a language unknown to the speaker but can be identified as one of the many languages spoken in the world today(Acts 2:1-12)

    I Corinthians 14:22 lays down the guidelines for Intelligibility in Worship. Please note that heresies existed even during the time of Paul and hence this chapter was written to highlight the genuine from the hypocrites(OMG!!! PAUL WAS JUDGING- SO UNCHRISTIAN LIKE).

    While I am not saying that we go dressed like a judge with a wooden hammer to all prayer meetings, we ought to definitely carry in our hearts the wisdom from the Bible. The matter maybe as simple as – a good tree bears good fruit. So if you see a guy speaking in “tongues” look for the spiritual fruits in him and accordingly reserve judgement.

    The Bible does not endorse-“DO NOT JUDGE” but “BE WISE WHEN U JUDGE”(interpretation mein gadbad). So my advise- LET THE BIBLE BE THE JUDGE; HAVE A DISCERNING SPIRIT(Acts 17:11).

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