Will you help me answer the question, “Should we judge others?”
This is a really dangerous text. Bad things happen when people go to one extreme or the other of what Jesus is saying here. We’re continuing the discussion of the Sermon on the Mount started here and left off here yesterday. People love to take these verses out of the context of the entirety of scripture and use them to ignore sin (because we shouldn’t judge other people). Thus we have allowed sin to run rampant and destroy people’s lives because we didn’t want to “judge” them. This is not what Jesus is saying! Let’s look at it a couple verses at a time:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
It’s impossible to look at these verses apart from the following few, but I wanted to comment here first. If we are judging the value or worth of any other person as less than ourselves or any other, than we have a heart far from God. God created each one uniquely. He loves each as much as He loves the other and wants to spend life now and life eternal with them. If you are judging them somehow less than this, then you have followed the enemy into believing yourself greater than your Creator. I find this often sneaking into my heart. I was pretty messed up just a few years ago and although I have a long way to go, I live a life reformed from many of the sins that I used to engage in frequently.
God helped me to shut that evil out of my life. What’s amazing is that only a few years later, I can find myself looking at another engaged in exactly the same things I was engaged in not that long ago, and ridicule them in my heart for the way they live. What insane logic is this? God has saved and changed me through no ability of my own and yet I manage to find myself looking down on someone who also has no power of their own to change what they are doing? So I must constantly scourge this from my heart.
Does anyone else suffer from this? How much worse are these feelings of superiority when we see someone who suffers from something that we have never struggled with? An even bigger trap the enemy sets for us!
BUT…I’ve been talking about judging the person here. Any person is above our ability to judge. However, any sin in their life is absolutely worthy of being judged. Each sin is an evil that is attacking this person who God loves so dearly. God hates it and wants it gone and we should judge it harshly. The key question here is, “How do we do that?”
3“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? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You 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.”
We’ll pick up with what Jesus is saying here tomorrow. What are your thoughts on this part? Agree…disagree?
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