How does one become a true judge?
There are two trees in the Garden. One must first eat of the Tree of Life, which is purely a tree of grace, of gift. This is a tree that one has done nothing to deserve, and one must eat perhaps for a long time to become mature and strong. This tree must be surrendered to, it must be trusted and received, and is the tree where obedience is learned. This is also the “Tree of Gratitude”, because thanksgiving, and worship are the only appropriate responses to being given the gift of life. But at some point, it becomes inescapably necessary to become a judge, and to begin to deal in the Knowledge of Good and Evil. One at some point is invited to eat of the second tree, and one must (I Kings 3:9, 2 Chron. 1:10, Prov. 2:1-15, Heb. 5:14). One must for example, at some point in late adolescence, begin to judge ones’ parents. This is inescapable. “What of all that I have received from my parents is good, and must be kept and strengthened, and what is not so good, and perhaps even bad, that must be jettisoned, modified, or exchanged?” This cannot be avoided. But, if one is not first grateful for all that has been received from one parents, and grateful for them, and thankful to God for them, one will become a false judge of what has been passed on.
The pre-requisite to becoming a true judge is gratitude for all that has been given and received.
If one reverses the order, as did our first parents, one becomes a judge without first receiving, submitting, surrendering, and being grateful for all that has been received, then judgments will all be skewed and will not bring new worlds, but will bring disharmony and destruction and nothing but bad death. If gratitude is not the pre-requisite, then the pre-requisite will be conceit, arrogance, pride, anger, and selfishness. It is into this false situation that Jesus speaks when he warns us, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” False
judgment will always evoke other counter judgments and will always bring bad death and destruction.
This is why we always receive the bread before we receive the wine in the Lord’s Supper.
But after we have surrendered and received life, and have learned to be grateful for all things, then we partake of the wine, of the blood, and we learn to pass judgment. The fruit of the Tree of Life, of surrender, of gratitude, is evolutionary. The implications of what is already there can grow and can become all that was placed into them. This is the era of growth and of harmony. But, when we partake of the wine, the blood, then we begin to pass judgment on things, on situations, and we enter an era of revolution, of quantum leap, of transformation through death and resurrection. Anytime a judgment is passed on a situation, it means that situation or state of affairs, will be so radically altered as to virtually bring it to an end. It will be (in varying degrees and sizes) the end of one world and the beginning of another. One must be mature to deal in death, because passing a judgment always brings a death. And it is to this situation that Paul speaks when he says, “The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.”
If we refuse to judge when the necessary time comes, then we forestall the called for death and the cost increases. It never decreases. To live in appeasement of what should be judged is to make the final price of death far higher.
Sometimes to become a true judge, we must go back and take a refresher course in surrender, trust, obedience and gratitude. Sometimes, it is a long refresher course that is necessary. When this is done well, those who have done so are prepared to become very wise judges because the ground work has been so thoroughly worked over. I have had alcoholics for friends whose lives were wrecks, enter Alcoholics Anonymous, and learn all over (usually for the first time) all about surrender, trust, obedience and gratitude, who then became the wisest people in my acquaintance.
At some point, one must become willing to deal in death. One must pass judgment. If one does not, if one is not willing to do that which will fundamentally alter a situation completely, then one only forestalls the price that must be paid. The passing of judgment