Judge Not… Especially if It’s Me
Phrases that have become very popular retorts in our culture are, “Don’t be judgmental,” “Who are you to judge me?” “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” and “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” These retorts are usually made by someone who just had their own sinful behavior pointed out. The person pointing out the sin is in turn vilified for being “judgmental.” Does this sound familiar? Have you been on the judging side or the judged side? Who is right in these situations?
This situation has its root in bad theology. Specifically, most believe that when Jesus said, “Judge not lest you be judged,” (Matthew 7:1) that He was teaching that we are not to judge, that He meant that you can’t tell someone that they are sinning (even if they are). This could not be further from the truth. Jesus is not telling us never to judge, but to judge fairly.
Listen to the rest of what Jesus said in context (verses 2-5): “For with the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged.” Jesus means that if you judge out of vengeance or with evil intent, God will judge you for this, but if you judge honestly and with good intentions, God’s judgment of you will reflect this too.
**“The measure you give will be the measure you get” **(Luke 6:38). Here, Jesus is telling us that God’s judgment on us will depend on whether we use exaggerations and other dishonest means when we judge. If we judge with fairness and compassion, we will be judged the same way.
***“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?” *** (Luke 6:41) Jesus wants to know why we point out the small sin of another, but pretend not to see our own greater sin. more