We said the proper way to judge is to really follow the process of the typical court. Paul in 2 Tim 3:16-17 tells us how to do it properly.
- 2Ti 3:16-17 KJV All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Firstly, we must have the truth - the correct doctrine as standards for measure. In other translation, teaching is used in place for doctrine. We must have the materials - the Bible and then we must teach and train our people.
Secondly, in the application of our learning, our behavior, words or beliefs can be compared and validated against the Biblical teachings, and judged to be right or wrong. GNB uses "rebuking error" for reproof - pointing out the wrong beliefs or lies we may hold.
Thirdly, knowing one's error is not good enough, we need to know what is correct belief. Correction is more than saying what is wrong and must say what is right. Rebuking & Correcting is better known as Counseling. This order is very important - Training comes before Counseling. Counseling is needed when we put our training into practice and encountered diffculties when we need Coaches to help us. Most people don't attend training and expect just Counseling to solve their problems. It is not effective and waste more time.
So, judging correctly must begin with an understanding of the Biblical Truth & Standard and then observing and finding the behavior and comparing against the Standard, rebuking and correcting towards re-establishing the right thinking and right behavior. If judging is not a good word to use, substitute "Counseling" or "Coaching" in its place. We are not to blindly judge but to counsel one another wisely in gentleness and the Biblical Truth.
The forth part is "training in righteousness" or in GNB "instructions for right living". The Biblical Teaching or Truth in part 1 should result in practical applications and instructions for right living. Paul in his letter always start with doctrines and then cover the practical applications - how one should behave as a Christian, as parents, children, bosses, employees, elders, etc. Making an error helps us to understand the "instructions in right living" better.
II The Observations
A potential error in making judgment is the not observing correctly, insufficient or wrong facts, unvalidated hear-says, and so forth. At times, even the witness may make observation errors or there are false witnesses. The Biblical teaching is very clear, Mat 18:16, 2Co 13:1, 1Ti 5:19 evidences(not hearsay) of two or three witnesses. The accused should have the right to face up with the witnesses and questions them for clarification. 1Ti 6:12, 2Ti 2:2, many witnesses should be preferred. Because of the possibility of false witnesses, the character of the witness should be considered as well.
III The Internal Motivation
Finally, the true judgment should be made of the intention of the heart and not the outward behavior. But we can only infer the intention. Only God knows. Our judgment could be wrong. Hence the need for more judges.
With such difficulty, it is no wonder why Jesus admonish us not to judge blindly. Nevertheless, we have the responsibility of helping and counseling our brothers when the needs arise. We prayed that we can do them wisely and gently with insights from the Holy Spirit. As a reminder, Training must comes before Counseling.