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Judging others

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First, get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

Matthew 7:1-5 NLT

Yesterday I admitted to someone that I like to be right and was clear that others were wrong. Then, of course, my Bible reading for this morning was Matthew 7. It has weighed on my mind all day. It’s just like the Spirit to use the Word to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness. And no, it is no accident this was the reading for today.

Jesus issues a clear warning: be careful of the urge to point out the sins of others. We think we see so clearly, but when the sins of others are more prominent than our own, we are in danger. This does not mean we don’t exercise discernment. But it does mean before confronting another person’s sin, we deal with our own.

The Bible speaks to at least three kinds of judgment that we should avoid:

(1) Judging without the facts, based on appearances only – with limited understanding —

Stop judging based on the superficial.
First you must embrace the standards of mercy and truth.

John 7:24 TPT

(2) Judging with harshness – how we treat others illustrates our understanding of the mercy we have received —

Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.

James 2:12-13 MSG

(3) Judging self-righteously – without first owning our sin —

Therefore, every one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth. Do you think—anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same—that you will escape God’s judgment?

Romans 2:1-3 CSB

It’s not my right to set myself up over others. Who am I to judge my neighbors? All of us experience the human condition, and because I am a recipient of mercy, it is my responsibility to show mercy to others.

The more you see your own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God’s grace appears to you.

Timothy Keller

Making my thoughts, ways, and opinions the measure by which I judge others is sin. God is the judge. The command given to me is to love – not agree with what I believe is incorrect but to edify, build up, encourage – because the one I might judge is my sibling in Christ. Even Jesus says He does not come to judge. Imagine the change we could make in this world if we took Jesus’ words seriously – to love others as He loves us!

Very few people get judged into life change. Far more get loved into it.

Carey Nieuwhof

I have experienced the judgment of others. It is not just uncomfortable; it is discouraging. I want to be different. I want to be an ambassador of mercy and grace!

Father, I confess my pride and self-righteousness. Thank you for putting your Word in front of me today, for your correction. Continue to teach me to have a humble spirit; thank you for your longsuffering towards me. May I be an ambassador of your mercy and grace. Amen.

I have written on this topic before – an ongoing challenge! If you’d like to read more, check out Ask Questions, Be Curious.

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