Briefing: Can you think of a job that requires someone to judge people more than being a LEO? My first thought was yes, a judge, but in the majority of cases that I have been involved with it is not a judge who actually decides the outcome of a case but the jury.
Dispatch (Assignment): Webster’s dictionary defines judge as, “to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence.” Read Matthew 7:1-6.
On the Street: If I read these couple of verses I could easily get the wrong impression of judging people. How I define judging could affect my opinion of what I do as an LEO. If God’s Word told me not to judge people’s motives, their truthfulness or intentions, I could not be an LEO.
So what does the Bible say about judging? Leviticus 19:15 says, “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly”. There is a great passage in Proverbs that reads like a speech at a rookie academy graduation. It says, “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
I believe that He is telling us to take into account what really matters while making judgments: our heart and our attitude. We tend to judge hypocritically and with a self-righteous attitude.
This is a question many new Christian LEOs struggle with. God’s Word is full of examples where we are told to judge fairly. As LEOs, we are truth seekers. Most calls for police involve a law enforcement officer to make a decision based on facts and give objective, fair judgments. This lines up with scripture.
In verse six, Jesus tells us to have discretion and use discernment. If Jesus was telling us not to judge in verse one then He would not be giving us advice about judging others in verse six. In John 7:24 Jesus said, “stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”
Highlights from this Read: Verse three paints a funny word picture of a person with a plank of wood in his eye. Jesus wants us to help each other, but we have to exercise humble judgment with the right attitude and motives. It should be out of love.
In verse six, Jesus specifically uses dogs and pigs in His description. In His day, dogs were mostly wild animals and pigs were unclean. He is describing a particular type of person.
Investigational Resources: For more scripture on judging, read; Deuteronomy 1:16, 2 Chronicles 19:7, Proverbs 24:23-25, and Romans chapter thirteen. Also see Luke 6:41-42.
Officer Safety Principle: Be the impartial judge that God has called you to be. 2 Chronicles 19:7 says, “Now let the fear of the Lord be upon you, judge carefully, for with the Lord your God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” When making judgments, be God’s ambassador and make the decisions based on God’s standards.
from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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