Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
This passage seems to say “No judging!” and is commonly quoted in this way. However, there are so many other passages in the Scripture that imply the necessity for making judgment calls in a variety of ways. There has to be sound judgment in our world, otherwise there would be chaos, confusion, attractive cults and cultishness, rampant lying throughout our society and immorality reigning on every hand. But wait a minute! That’s exactly what we have now! It’s because of the misunderstanding of what this passage really means.
There are two types of judgment: 1—Condemnation judgment—a pronouncement of condemnation, reserved for God only. 2—Conclusion judgment—making a judgment call after examining the evidence, a personal responsibility for us.
This passage isn’t saying not to judge, but when you judge (make conclusions about things and people) conduct your judgment in the proper way. Here are 4 steps for doing this:
#1—JUDGE WITH THE PROPER SPIRIT “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.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
When you judge (conclusion judgment), understand that you will be judged by others in precisely the same area. If you are critical of another’s parenting style, you will be critically analyzed for your parenting prowess.
#2—JUDGE WITH THE PROPER STARTING POINT “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.” (Matthew 7:3-5)
When you judge (conclusion judgment), look at yourself first. Don’t go after the speck in your brother’s eyes, until you have taken the log out of your own eye. It’s all a matter of perspective. Once you remove the log out of your eye, then you will be able to see clearly how to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. What’s interesting is that when you haven’t dealt with your own “stuff”, you tend to pick away and condemn others for whatever their “stuff” happens to be. The favorite indoor sport for most religious gatherings is to confess the sins of the world!