“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.” Proverbs 1: 28-33
These verses always bother me. Not because I think they are wrong in any way – I believe this is God’s word and He has kept it complete and correct all through the ages – but because it makes me worry about my loved ones. I worry they don’t know Christ as their savior and I won’t get to see them in heaven. It breaks my heart!
Some people say I am being judgmental when I say this, and I guess through their eyes, I am. But I don’t feel judgmental, I feel like a mother who worries about her children. I want them to be safe and happy and healthy. When I see them do dangerous things, i.e. skateboarding without a helmet, eating nothing but junk food, or getting drunk with friends, I am most definitely going to cringe and stress and worry until they come home safe.
So, when someone accuses me of judging I go back to my bible. It tells me to be discerning.
He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful; And a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment, Ecclesiastes 8:5
Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him. Malachi 3:18
“and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” Matthew 16:3
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:14
anakrino – examine or judge
- To investigate, examine, inquire into, scrutinize, sift, question (Specifically in a forensic sense of a judge to hold an investigation). To interrogate, examine the accused or witnesses
- To judge of, estimate, determine (the excellence or defects of any person or thing)
I love this word and its definition! Probably because I love forensic science and solving mysteries and this word is telling me to do exactly that. Dig deeper! Find clues! Look for the truth! Solve the mystery!
Most people will pull out their trusty go-to verse: Judge not, that you be not judged. Matthew 7:1 But this word has a different meaning.
krino – to separate, select, choose; to determine, to judge, pronounce judgment
- to assume the office of a judge
- to undergo process of trial
- to give sentence
- to condemn
- to execute judgment upon
- to be involved in a lawsuit, whether as plaintiff, or as defendant
- to administer affairs, to govern
The word in Matthew 7:1 is a word that describes a judge slamming down a gavel and condemning a criminal. This is where we have to be very careful. We are not called to be the judge, the sentencer of criminals, the krino. We are called to be the anakrino. We are called to be the investigator, the P.I. Like Thomas Magnum, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Sam Spade, and Shawn Spencer! And don’t forget Scooby Doo and the gang! (Jinkies! I think I need to pause and go read a good mystery book…)
If you have ever been accused of being judgmental or if you have accused someone else (I have been on both ends, as I am sure most of us have), I hope this helps. I hope with this extra insight we can all pause for a moment before we throw out those hurtful accusations. Am I being the krino, the executioner? Or have I investigated thoroughly like the anakrino and know the facts?
Remember, we want “Just the facts, ma’am.”