Judge Not or Judge Rightly?
Read Matthew 7:1-5 (ESV)
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
According to Jesus, what should we do before we judge and correct others?
“It is wrong to judge others.” I am sure you’ve heard that claim before. What is so interesting to me is that people who say this are making a judgement themselves! They are judging between what is right and what is wrong while claiming that no one should make judgements between right and wrong! People who judge are often judged by others to be narrow-minded, judgmental and even bigoted. Didn’t Jesus say “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1)? But didn’t He also say, “if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault…” (Matthew 18:15). Are we supposed to judge the behavior of other people or not?
Today’s verse sheds some light on this subject. Jesus was not condemning all judgment here. He was condemning hypocritical judgement and commanding the people to first deal with their own sin before addressing the sins of others. He reminded the people that they will be judged according to the same standard. So instead of walking around pointing out other people’s sins, we need to first deal with our own.
Jesus said once we remove the log from our eyes by addressing our own areas of sin, then we will be able to see clearly and judge others rightly. We are called to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling with sin.
There are many verses in Scripture that command us to call out sin.
Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
Ephesians 5:11 says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
The message is clear, we should not ignore sin or condone it. Friends, it is right for us to call sin what it is. But first, we need to check our own hearts and ask ourselves, “Do I have sins that I need to confess and address first?” “Am I making a fair judgement or a hypocritical one?”
Remember, we are all going to be judged by the same standard—God’s standards. He has clearly told us what is right and what is wrong. But before you criticize others and call them out for their sins, check yourself! Jesus does not condemn right judgement. But He does condemn hypocritical judgement.
Lord, I confess that sometimes I struggle with a self-righteous, critical attitude. But I want to be holy as You are holy, not “holier than thou.” Help me to see my own sins clearly so that I can help my brothers and sisters in Christ with a spirit of humility. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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