1Judge not, that you be not judged.2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?4Or 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? —Matthew 7:1-4
All in favor of authenticity? Here is the first step in practicing authenticity.First by not judging others. Notice that it says in Matthew 7:1,"Judge not that you be not judged." Now, I've got to tell you, people are always like slapping that on everything, “Oh, you can't judge, don't judge.”
That's not what the verse means. Jesus wasn’t categorically dismissing all things requiring judgment. Look at Matthew 7:6 where He talks about precious teachings and the decision not to share with people who don’t want to listen. Doesn't that require a judgment?
You can judge actions—behavior (see 1 Corinthians 5). Parents, don't ever let your kids back you away from judging actions by saying, “Don't judge.” We have to judge actions. Call a lie a lie, disrespect disrespect, and disobedience disobedience! The gift of discernment is a spiritual gift.
Here's what Jesus is talking about; what we don't judge:
- We don't judge motives. You don't know why people are doing what they're doing. Don't ever let yourself say, "I know why she's like that." "I know why he's doing that." No, you do not. Only God knows a person's heart. He doesn't want us judging the territory that is His venue. The judging of the heart, that is God's job.
- We don't judge appearance. Don't judge a person by the color of their skin or the clothes that they wear, or the car that they drive or the place that they live or the job that they have. Don't judge people by what they look like. You can't tell a book by its cover. You can't! And God hates that.
- We don’t judge harshly. Don't hold people to a standard that you're not keeping.
Notice in Matthew 7:2,“For with the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged.” Yikes! So, the judgment that I give to others, that's the judgment that I'm going to get. If you're constantly judging, God's like, “You’re writing the script I’m going to use to judge you!” Not great!
If you want to get serious about authenticity as a person, harshly judging other’s motives and appearance has to stop.
- Which one (or more) of these three steps is God calling on me to give special attention to in the days to come? What do I specifically need to stop doing?
I know You didn’t go to the effort of creating me to be someone fake. You have always had an authentic version of me in mind—that’s who I want to be too, Lord! Point out judgmental ways in me and lead me toward authentic living in Your presence. Let me begin be evaluating others as I long to be seen myself. In Your name I ask, Jesus, Amen.