How many of you get a little close to offering a suggestion to someone and they say, “Don’t judge me…that’s what the Bible says!” Usually, that comment sort of stops most people quickly in their tracks. So what does Jesus really say about judging? My wife had a vision that she wrote out on our Covenant Center blog site recently, as she observed many believers responding to the correction of the Lord regarding their judgments and criticism. What does the vision mean in light of scripture?
Matthew 7:1-2; “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” It might be beneficial to define the word “judge”, krino in the Greek, because it appears we will be held to that same standard that we hold everyone else to.
“Judge” means to divide, separate, make a distinction, or to come to a decision. In Matthew 7 vs 1 and 2, it means to pass sentence or give one’s opinion in a private manner. In other places in the Bible it does not mean we are not meant to judge, discern, or distinguish spiritual or natural realities. In Galatians 6:1-2 it says: “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.” So we are suppose to judge, confront, and restore, but do it with love. 1st Corinthians 5 teaches believers that we are to judge each other within the church and God will judge those outside the church.
In John 5:22 it says, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but has given all judgment to the Son.” In John 8:15 Jesus says: “You judge after the flesh; I judge no man.” So, at this time, there is not judging, like a final solemn judicial manner being released from God or Son.
Back to Matthew 7. What did Jesus mean then? I believe the next three verses help explain much more in what He meant. Verse 3-5 says, “Why do you look at 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,’ and behold, the log is 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.”
Therefore, there seems to be consequences for those who are quick to see sins of others, but are blind and unwilling to hold themselves accountable to the same standard that they hold everyone else to. It appears that the judgment is worse for those that fail to look at their own sin when they are addressing other’s sin.
It isn’t that the Lord has forbidden all moral judgment or accountability. He forbids harsh, prideful and hypocritical judgment that condemns others without evaluating or judging themselves. We must look at our self first. Now I suggest you visit my wife Becky’s blog post on our Covenant Center web site, entitled, “Loose Lips Sink Ships.”
With Covenant Love,