"Do not Judge, or you too will be judged"
I looooooovvvveeee Judging people. It is an essential part of my day. Without it, I don't think I would be a very good parent, husband, pastor, or, pseudo-famous blogger(tens of readers daily).
One quick example of how much I love judging people;
So my son got really mad at his little sister yesterday. She apparently was sitting too close to him on the couch. She has a lot of nerve!!! So, in classic big brother fashion, he hit her and pushed her off the couch.
In the back of my head I heard that very important refrain playing on a loop, "do not judge, do not judge do not judge!!!" But, luckily, I ignored it. I took my son to his room, gave him a stern talking, gave him a swat on the bottom(yes, we are those parents), gave him a hug, and left him in his room for a long timeout.
You know what he has been doing recently when his sister is "bothering" him? He gets up and goes to another room. No more hitting(mostly).
Do you know how idiotic it sounds when people quote this passage whenever they are trying to call out a Christian for "judging". On a scale of 1 to super stupid, it is massively idiotic.
One thing we are really good at(in my judgment) in todays culture is proof texting snippets of scripture to bash people with. Especially when that person is in some way speaking about Biblical convictions and Truths.
So here is where Jesus goes with the whole "don't judge" statement;
When you judge(verse 2---He is assuming you do judge), judge in the way you want to be judged. Meaning, when you get rightfully called out on something, do you want to be smacked around, or shown grace and patience? The measure you use for others will be the measure you will experience.
Right off the bat Jesus is working in the context of the daily reality of judgment. We HAVE to use it. You can't do much of anything in life without utilizing wise judgment. How else are you able to tell your kid that it is wrong to hit his sister? And as Jesus addresses this He flips the typical way we judge on its ear.
See, we love to be self-righteous and really give it to people when we catch them being wrong. Guess what a second assumption he makes is? You need to be judged at times as well. Give grace when you deal with other peoples sins, and, get grace when your sins are exposed.
One of Jonathan Edwards life resolutions was to..."Act in word and deed as if nobody had been so vile as I, to live as if I had committed the same sins, or, had the same infirmities or failings as others, to confess my own sins and miser to God when I am prone to look on shame at others"
Jesus calls us to live in such a way as to give grace for others failings in the same measure that we are desperate to experience in the midst of our own.
This passage DOES NOT say, "YOU CANNOT EVER EVER EVER JUDGE".
Later on, Jesus adds a bit more to the process of judging others. In verse 5 He tells us to remove our beam. Why? So we can remove our brothers speck.
Again, Jesus is speaking in the context of His disciples actively judging sin. And on top of being graceful about it, He teaches that unless we are willing to deal with(repent) of our own sins, we can't possibly help our brothers and sisters with theirs.
The comedian Kevin James once said, "Nothing is worse than receiving weight loss advice from someone FATTER than you!" Nothing is worse than hearing judgment from an unrepentant hypocrite.
Where does this leave us?
1) Christians SHOULD judge and speak clearly about sin.
2) Jesus is pretty clear, you better do it in such a way that it is dripping with Grace, patience and love.
3) Deal with your own heart, be honest, be willing to repent of your own sins as you lovingly address your brothers.
Next time someone tells you that Christians shouldn't judge....Tell them they have no clue what they are talking about and read Matthew 7:1-5 with them. Do it with love, do it with honesty.