34 Judging Others

Matthew 7:1-5

1 “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
. (ESV)

Three things from the text:

  1. A Command to be Heeded (vv 1&2)
    This does not mean that believers are never to judge.
    Correct judgement: 1 Cor. 5:3-5, Mat. 7:6, 1 John 4:1-6, Mat. 7:15-20, Mat. 18.

    Jesus was referring to a mean critical spirit that always judges people. He condemned the attitude of doubting the authenticity of people’s salvation when they fall.
    A person who sets himself up as a judge of others will one day himself be judged.
    God will use the same yardstick that the critics use to judge with.

    Don’t criticize, because:
    a. You do not know all the facts.
    b. We all fail God and sin.
    c. You don’t know the content of another person’s heart.
    d. When you criticize, you’re attempting to play God.
    e. One day you’ll face God and be judged by the same standards you used.

  2. A Challenge to be Heard (vv 3&4)
    When we judge other people, we always do it from a warped perspective.
    Seeing somebody else messing up we feel so perfect and become blind for our own failures.
    How do we respond to a person struggling with sin every day? If such ones want to be free, we will not shame them, but help them by holding up the cross of Christ.
    Jesus is saying that the sin of the critic is greater than the sin of the one whom he judges.

  3. Council to be Honoured (v 5)
    Jesus calls those who (wrongfully) judge others hypocrites.
    He says that our heart must first be cleansed before we can help others.
    When our own heart and vision has been fixed, we would be able to come to a fallen one with a spirit of compassion and restoration.
    How do you see fallen people – with anger and resentment or with sadness and compassion?
    We must confront our fellow believers if we see them sinning (Lev. 19:17, Prov.27:5, Mat. 18:15, Luke 17:3, John 7:24).

Reasons why people tend to judge and criticize others:

  1. It boosts our own self-image, making us greater narcissists than we already are.
  2. It is often enjoyed due to a tendency in human nature to take pleasure in hearing and sharing bad news and reveling in the shortcomings of others.
  3. It makes us feel that our own lives are better than the person who failed (builds us up in our own pride).
  4. It helps us justify the decisions we have made and the things we have done through our lives. We rationalize our decisions and acts by pointing out the failures of other people.
  5. It points out to our friends how strong and smart we are, because our rigid beliefs and strong lives are proven by our brother’s failure.
  6. It’s an outlet for hurt, revenge and bitterness. We feel that people deserve it – hurting those who hurt us – a form of vengeance.

Have you been guilty of passing judgement on other people because they do not live like you do? If the Lord has spoken to your heart about this matter, then you need to make it right and get the log out your own eye.

On the receiving side, have you been unjustly judged by other people? Have you forgiven the ones who did that to you? You know that you need to – you need to let it go.