Ahh, another oft misused scripture! Let’s look at Matthew 7:1-2.
I am absolutely certain that Jesus did not speak these words without the fullest knowledge of the words to come later in the same teaching (see verse 16) or in John’s witness (see John 7:24) or in several of the epistles.
I mean, right after these verses about not judging and the speck and log comes verse 6.
“Don’t waste what is holy on people
who are unholy. Don’t throw your
pearls to pigs! They will trample the
pearls, then turn and attack you.”
We tend to hear that in verse 1, Jesus is condemning ALL judgment. The reality is, He is condemning the censorious, hypocritical, self-righteous, and unfair judgments.
We are to be wise in all our dealings, which requires judgment.
Where we have to be careful is when we hold ourselves up as the measure to be judged against. We simply are not straight enough or level enough. Ever.
The only plumb line to ever use in measuring anyone, including ourselves, is Jesus.
But guess what? Holding a person up to Jesus is – you guessed it – judgment. And we’re supposed to do it!
SO confusing, huh?
When you look at someone, talk to them, visit with them, you refuse to measure them against yourself or any other human. Instead, you compare that one to Jesus and His Word.
Are they a believer, but coarse in language? You know Ephesians 4 says that’s not to be the case, so you judge that that is not right.
Here is where many who have gone before have messed up. They would clamp down on that one and ostracize them from the fold. They took on the role of Holy Spirit. Tsk, tsk.
When you recognize that behavior in someone, get together with that one alone and express your concern for them. NO condemnation, CONCERN. See, if they aren’t walking in God’s will, that’s concerning – for their overall wellbeing.
Talk to them about what the Book says about coarse language, then let the Holy Spirit have it. He is much better at conviction and turnarounds than we are.
The same when you engage with an unbeliever. Get alone and express your concern for their life and eternity. Share the gospel and step back. The Spirit of the One True and Living God will deal with their heart.
See, judgment is not forbidden by our Lord, it’s that judgment where we look at the tattooed guy and say he’s worthless. It’s the judgment where we look at the recovering addict and say she’ll never amount to anything. It’s the judgment where we look at the single mother and think she must be a slut to have so many children and no husband. It’s the judgment where we see the well-dressed man and think he has it all together and has no need for support or comfort.
Let’s check ourselves today, y’all. Let’s slow down enough to recognize when we’ve made a judgment and examine it to see if it was a righteous judgment or a hypocritical one. If we’re wrong, we must confess that to the Lord and choose better.
It all starts with us.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.