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Judgments: Rash or Righteous (Resources for Biblical Living) Paperback – May 5, 2009
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"Lou Priolo brings over two decades of counseling experience, a deep knowledge of Scripture, and a love for God's people to his writing. You'll find these little booklets very helpful. . . . I heartily recommend them." --Elyse Fitzpatrick, author of Idols of the Heart, A Steadfast Heart, and Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
"Biblical, practical, straightforward, and timely are the main qualities that these brief booklets will offer to those who read them. If you're looking for a relevant word for your difficult path, read them hopefully and receive much needed direction." --Lance Quinn, president, National Association of Nouthetic Counselors
About the Author
Lou Priolo is the founder and president of Competent to Counsel International and is an instructor with Birmingham Theological Seminary. He has been a full-time biblical counselor since 1985 and is a fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Lou has been married to his wife, Kim, since 1987 and has two daughters, Sophia and Gabriella.
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Judgments: Rash or Righteous is a book concerning the judgments one makes about others. The book begins by acknowledging that making judgments part of how God has designed us, and that doing so is something required by God in order to be human. For example, Priolo lists a selection of generic labels that the Bible applies to categories of people and actions (e.g. fool, sluggard, harlot, slothful, backbiting, etc.), which require discernment (i.e. judgment) in order to recognize. On the other hand, there are right ways and wrong ways to judge.
One of the wrong ways to judge is to do so without adequate evidence. These are rash judgments, and are quite typical. Priolo points to the Bible's requirement that two or three witnesses are to confirm the testimony of any accusation, and even then the witnesses must provide credible testimony. A second wrong judgment is to judge the things that God has not revealed, such as the motives of people. Unless an individual confesses the motive behind an action, it is rash to attribute to that individual an unjust motive. Priolo puts the emphasis on how one would want to be treated: if nine times out of ten an action was committed upon base motives, yet the one time it was just you were accused wrongly, you would be a victim of rash judgment. Therefore one ought not to think the worst, but the best of others, until further evidence or confession is made (Priolo goes recommend further inquiry, when the situation warrants it according to one's right to inquire). Another type of rash judgment is judging where one has not been given the authority to judge. An easy example would be for a child to judge his or her sibling for an action, which would justly be the right of the parents to follow up and follow through on. Another example might be when a citizen inquired into a public accusation of crime where only the police or magistrates would have the authority to do so (at least directly).
The examples above are just a sample of the wisdom Priolo provides for understanding rash judgments. An additional benefit to this book (and others in the series) is Priolo's helpful exercises and practical advice for putting off the sinful beliefs, attitudes/values, and behaviors that lead to rash judgments (or whatever other topic with which he is dealing). This resource, and others in the series, are extremely helpful guides that anyone can pick up and read in thirty minutes and then come back to again and again to be reminded of the things we all need to be reminded of in order to walk more in step with Christ.
Disclaimer: Priolo is straightforward in acknowledging that for the sorts of changes he is commending in his books are only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with our own efforts. In other words, there is no hope for those who are not Christians to accomplish the things that Priolo is recommending. Whether or not the reader agrees with Priolo's beliefs, one must admit that he does not try to hide his theological convictions, or gloss over their implications for counseling.