Judging OK as long as it's righteous

A Utah TV news crew recently worried out loud about a state of Utah water conservation website. The “Fame or Shame” site encourages citizens to report those who are wasting water so water entities can follow up.

The reporters admitted they had been debating internally about whether public water shaming is a good idea or not. A weather team member concluded it might be better to just privately reason with a neighbor face to face. In fact, many modern Christian churches believe the scripture teaches people not to judge one another.

Here’s a little Christian education lesson. Jesus did say, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” But it is clear within the totality of the New Testament teaching that Jesus was discouraging only unrighteous judging. There are many types of this, including hasty judgment, hypocritical judgment and unduly harsh judgment.

But Jesus also taught that righteous judgment was one of the most important of all spiritual principles. When he spoke of the “weightier” matters of the gospel, he listed three: “Judgment, mercy, and faith.”

Righteous judging certainly can be done by a neighbor face to face, but it can also be done by an official. We can’t stop holding people publicly accountable unless we no longer wish to remain a nation committed to rule of law.

-- Kimball Shinkoskey, Woods Cross

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