Judge Not…Really?

Matthew 7:1 ESV
Judge not, that you be not judged.

The person who says “don’t judge” is judging you. That’s the only way they could judge that you are judging them/others.

This in and of itself should show us that the philosophy of “don’t judge” is unlivable…because we can’t enforce it without making judgment. This is why it’s followed by the next verse:

Matthew 7:2 ESV
For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

We can’t make an argument for why we shouldn’t be judged without making a judgment and therefore, expecting judgment to come back on our statement.

At its core, this is one-way tolerance. “I am disapproving of your disapproval and you should have never disapproved.”

First of all, let’s really define “judge”. None of us has the power to condemn one another for anything or to any eternal punishment. Only THE JUDGE has that power…and we’re not HIM. However, we do assess ourselves and we’re called to assess others and, when given the authority, we do impose consequences for actions. As parents, we did this every day when we were raising our children. Employers do this. Earthly judges do this.

But when it comes to one another – our peers – are we not supposed to make any judgments at all or are we told by God himself not to forget our place when we make them?

I believe it’s the second. Judge yourself FIRST so you can go and THEN help your neighbor. See my previous post on the importance of helping one another walk in the light.

We do not have the authority or the power to condemn any of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to any type of eternal punishment and we’re not to judge their motives. But we have been told by God to keep our houses clean so we can help others keep theirs clean. Binding to the body of Christ through salvation offered by Jesus is a submission to the authority of Jesus and those whom He puts in authority. We absolutely cannot say that someone is going to go to hell or go to heaven. We do not have that authority. BUT, we do have the authority and the urging to call into question when a brother or sister is walking in darkness…to assess what we see and hear…to inspect one another’s actions and evaluate out of love and respect through mutual accountability.

It’s not about “never judge”. It’s about HOW you judge. Read the rest of the passage:

Matthew 7:1-6 ESV
“Judge not, that you be not judged. [2] For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. [3] 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? [4] 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? [5] 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. [6] “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

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