Someone is lying and it is the judge’s task to determine whether Pistorius is telling the truth or not. South Africa does not have jury trials, so a judge will decide the verdict in collaboration with two experts called assessors. The court proceedings are making the news around the world. Each of us listening, watching or reading about the trial has a verdict formed, playing judge from a distance.
We do this far more often than we realize. In traffic, we form judgments on other drivers. In our workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods we make judgment calls on people’s motives and actions. In church, you and I form an opinion, a judgment on one another based on information that is objective and subjective.
Jesus tells us not to judge others.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Even those not familiar with the Bible can often quote the first verse. Yet, this passage is often misunderstood. Jesus was warning of being judgmental without an awareness of one’s own behavior.
Jesus tells the Jews to judge well.
“Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
The apostle Paul writes that Christ-followers will judge the world.
1 Corinthians 6:1-3
" If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?"
I am glad that I am not the judge over Pistorius’ case. Each of us are called to make godly decisions based on beliefs and behaviors.