Do not judge or you too will be judged.
We shouldn’t judge that’s what Jesus says. But if we do, we have to remember we are meting out our own measure for which we shall be judged.
God has given us the ability to judge and discern.
We have the ability to sense where there is justice and injustice. Which means we can judge what is just and what isn’t. We also have an ability to sense right and wrong. This ability comes from our being made in the likeness of God. He is righteous and just in all His judgments.
But because we live in a fallen world ours is perverted. Our ability to judge isn’t always correct. We have a natural bend to be shallow in our judging, to criticize, to harshly look upon the sins of others.
However, there is a right way to judge and a wrong way to judge.
How do we wrongly judge?
When we judge with hypocrisy.
We judge other people’s specks and not our planks
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3,5
Hypocritical judging is wrong judging. When we overlook the sin in our own lives and concentrate on the sins of others. we are told we have to first pay attention to the plank( huge sin) in our own lives then we can be able to help our brother remove his speck( small sin).
We are often unaware of the things that are wrong with us but very much aware of the things that are wrong with others.
For example, it’s the person who judges and condemns someone for embezzling funds from the company he works at, while unaware that he/she has greed hidden in their hearts too.
Or the one who judges the one stealing $100,000 from his boss but has no qualms taking someone’s $5 or $ 20. Yet in God’s eyes, the two people are both guilty of stealing which is a sin.
Or the person who judges a sexually immoral person, yet their own heart is full of lust and perversion.
We condemn others for the same sin we do.
We also have a tendency to be harsh and critical of other people’s sins while we treat the same sins as alright in our lives. We believe what others are doing is wrong while at the same time self justify for the very same sin. This makes our judgment wrong.
Someone said, we tend to be great judges of other people’s sins and very good lawyers for our own sins.
Therefore you have no excuse or justification, every one of you who [ hypocritically ] judges and condemns others; for in passing judgment on another person, you condemn yourself, because you who judge [ from a position of arrogance or self- righteousness] are habitually practicing the very same things[ which you denounce]. Romans 2:1
In this one, we know we do the very same things we are harshly judging others for. But still, go ahead and pronounce judgment on them. Paul says when we do that we are condemning ourselves too.
For instance, it’s the married man who condemns other men for committing adultery when he knows very well he is committing adultery in private. He knows very well he is guilty of the very same thing he is judging others for. or the person who criticizes others for lying yet knows they do the same thing too.
We slander others.
When we slander, we are saying something against a person which isn’t true and judging them.
Brothers do not slander one another. anyone who speaks against his brother or judges hi speaks against the law and judges it. and if you judge the law, you are not a doer of it but a judge. James 4:11
When we slander people we take the place of God. Christians do this all the time. We write and post stuff about people we know nothing about. we condemn people’s hearts whom we have never met. We judge people’s actions and believe we know what their motives are without really knowing them or why they are doing that particular thing.
I love what Paul says, who are you to judge someone else’s servants? To their own master, servants stand or fall, and with the Lord’s help , they will stand and receive his approval. Romans 14:4
Remember that brother or sister is not your servant. They are God’s servants, God will judge their work, not you. You should be concerned with whether your service to God is standing or falling. Not their’s. God is able to help them stand and be pleasing to them.
How do we judge right?
We judge righteously
Judge not according to appearance but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24
NLT says…Look beneath the surface, so you can judge correctly.
The Pharisees were good at judging people just from looking at appearances. But Jesus corrects their judgment.
Just like the Pharisees sometimes, our judgment is out of mere appearances. We don’t have the whole story but we come up with a conclusion that someone’s actions are wrong.
Our judgment is often wrong because it isn’t according to God’s standard but humans standards.
You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the father who sent me. John 8:15-16
Jesus could judge righteously because His judgment came from God. He could judge right because he was able to see beyond mere appearances. He didn’t judge things by human standards because they were faulty. He judged by God’s standards.
For instance, we can quickly judge a woman who is a prostitute as being immoral, without really knowing what led them there. Without wanting to understand what happened in her life to make her make these choices. Maybe she is there because her father molested her. maybe she didn’t have anyone to protect her. Prostitution is how she feels powerful from the things that broke her. When we go beyond outward appearances we are able to help her without condemning her because we judged her rightly.
We judge right when we begin with ourselves first.
Who can discern his own errors? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. Psalm 19:12 the psalmist understood something here it is very hard to see our own sin. It’s very hard to see our faults. So he made sure to ask God to reveal them and cleanse him.
We judge people right when we have gone before God for our own errors, for our own sins. We will treat people differently when we give them the same measure of grace and mercy that God has extended towards us.
Mercy triumphs judgment.
Again we come back to Matthew 7:2 for with the same measure you use it will be measured to you.
Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13
We don’t judge people mercifully because they need it, we do it because we need it for ourselves. We deposit mercy in people’s accounts so that God might be merciful to us when we need it.
How would we treat people if we truly knew we are determining the measure that will be used on us?
Mercy is God’s heart.
Often, people who are hard-hearted, critical, and harsh towards other people’s sins do not have an understanding of God’s mercy. If they did, they would have His heart.
But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous but sinners. Matthew 9:13
They were great at bringing sacrifices. Great at serving in the church. Great at reading the law but they lacked mercy for others. Jesus says if you knew me as well as you think you do. you would know I desire mercy more than all your service. He desires that we have merciful hearts than being concerned about serving Him.
His kindness leads us to repentance
God is a righteous judge, but He is also kind.
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Cant, you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from sin? Romans 2: 4
When we don’t know God we think judgment is meant to lead us to repentance. He begins with kindness before judgment.
God isn’t like us, we tend to be intolerant and impatient with others.
One translation says the riches of his kindness, tolerance, and patience… God is extremely rich in kindness, he is extremely rich in tolerance and he is incredibly patient.
He uses kindness to turn us away from sin. When we refuse His kindness, that’s when judgment comes in because He is righteous and He has to judge sin. Long before we see God’s judgment on someone there has been an endless supply of his kindness and patience.
Before we see judgment God’s mercy had been poured over this person’s life.
Let’s learn to judge as He does. The world needs it.