Jesus used the metaphor of fruit to give us the proper criteria for judging. Matthew 7:20. It says "By their fruits you will know them.". We're told to judge people, and also ourselves, by the fruit that is produced, by the fruit someone bears, that is what we are to judge by. Everyone judges, everyone gossips, but that doesn't make it right. Be slow to judge others and quick to judge yourself. That is written in my devotional for today, I read it right before I told myself I would come upstairs and write a blog over judgement. I've posted about this before, but I still see it everywhere. It hurts to know that people can be so rude, so careless about their words, so inconsiderate. In the school, it is terrible, you can't take a step without hearing someone say something about someone who just walked by, or someone who that person claims to "hate", yet they don't even know a last name. We are to judge based on the criteria Jesus has laid out. There needs to be a realization. Jesus didn't just say things because he enjoyed the sound of his own voice, but because he wanted us to listen. He wanted us to hear what he was saying, because we need his voice, his insight, his teachings.
He tells us to "beware of false prophets..". This too requires us to judge, we need to be able to tell the difference between truth and falsehood. This is shown, the two are separated through the fruit that people bear. This fruit cannot be judged based on our own values. It cannot be judged by earthly values, such as the clothes someone wears, or the amount of money we have in our name. We must judge based on heavenly values, like the ones stated in Galatians 5:22, we need to judge based on "love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control.". Those are values we need to see, those are the fruits we need to produce. Seeing people in that image, or even trying to show those values through our thoughts, words, and actions, seem to bring out a brighter side of people. It shows that we are being guided through what is right, based on the standards of God, not those of which so many people have set as true here on this planet.
"Our tendency is to judge based on appearance. But God judges based on what we produce, and so should we."