Judge As You Want To Be Judged, Part 2
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment 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. —Matthew 7:1-5
Not a day passes where we don’t critique, assess, and judge. It’s not necessarily bad to evaluate. In fact, we need to be discerning and at times are called to share our insights with others. But not every judgmental thought should come out of our mouths!
If you want to know when to speak and when to keep quiet, let’s continue to look at the guidelines in this passage.
2. Fully accept the standard God sets (v.2).
God knows how we judge others and will likewise apply that judgment to us. What we demand of others but fail to do ourselves is pure hypocrisy. Jesus hates that!
The standard to follow is holiness which leads us to encounter our own sinfulness in direct contrast to God’s perfection. We are not able to do anything to win the God’s favour. Our debt could only be paid through the substitution of Jesus, the satisfaction of God’s demand. When we consider that sacrifice, how can we not be humble and want to live in holy obedience?
- Examine my own life first (v. 3-4).
We are not ready to judge until we have carefully examined our own lives. It is not possible to be perfectly blameless, but when we do sin we must confront it, deal with it, and not repeat it. Confess and clean your slate. It is in that type of blamelessness that we are able to rightly judge one another.
- Gently correct fellow believers (v. 5).
We must do a lot of work on ourselves before we are equipped to judge or correct others. We are not free to go around correcting anyone and everyone. 1 Corinthians 5:12 clearly states who we ought to be judging; believers. We should not hold unbelievers accountable to the same standard as those who have professed faith in Jesus. When I can see my way clear to help another, I will act in love (Ephesians 4:15) and with gentleness (Galatians 6:1).
And remember, it’s easy to become complacent and naïve, tolerating all behaviours, but that leads to both condemnation for us and the offender.
So the next time you feel the urge to judge someone, be sure to check your motives. Have you dealt with your critical spirit? What about your own shortcomings? Remember that judging is only for God’s people, and only to be done in God’s way. —Todd Dugard
· When was the last time I stopped and recognized what a sinful creature I really am? Or the last time I realized how forgiven I actually am?
· Why is it so hard for me to show compassion for the error in others? What does this have to do with knowing my own need for forgiveness?
Prayer – Dear Father, You are so good to have such patience with me, a sinner who needs You desperately. Help me to always know deep in my soul that I am no different with regard to sin than any other human on this planet; in need of forgiveness. Let me always see the sin in myself first, and with your eyes only, see the sin in others after. In Jesus’ name, Amen.