Tuesday, January 8, 2013

To Judge, Or Not to Judge

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Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Matthew 7:1-2 NKJV)

I am not sure of how many times when someone is confronting the sin of the world, that unbelievers use the verse above to justify their sinful life style. They will say, "Leave judging up to God." This is because they “love darkness rather than light.” I know in my own personal life I have been confused about this passage because I know there are times when I must make judgments. I ask of myself, what exactly does this verse means? After all, Jesus also instructed us to “judge with righteous judgment.” (See John 7:24) This is important as I do not want to play God nor do I want a stricter judgment brought against me. While the world will quote the above verse, they will not quote the following verses where Jesus goes on and instructs us how to judge.

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. (Matthew 7:3-6 NKJV)

How do we know that someone has “a speck” in their eye without making a judgment? How do we know who the “dogs and swine” are without judging? Of course, we must judge to come to these conclusions. So is Jesus contradicting Himself, or what? No, actually He is speaking of the attitude in which we judge. That is, we are not to be hypocritical and condemning, but judge with a heart of love and restoration. 

As far as a hypocritical heart is concerned, I would like for us to consider the following analogy. Suppose you had a something in your eye and went to the doctor to have it removed. Your doctor is highly trained, yet when you went into his office, you notice that your doctor has debris in his eyes, thus he cannot see to remove the object form your eye. Yet he proceeds to remove the object anyway. How would you feel? Our sin has the same affect; it blinds us so that we are unable to judge with a righteous judgment. In other words, we must first deal with our sin, or else we will be judging hypocritically. Often times own sin leads us to have a condemning heart while judging. It is so much easier to see someone else's faults and sins than our own. Then we cop an attitude saying, "I want to see this person fry!" Consider when King David committed adultery with Bathsheba. Not only did David set up Bathsheba's husband to be killed, he cast judgment against someone for an evil David thought that he had done. King David’s verdict was “death” for this individual. Please read the passages below.

12 Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” (2 Samuel 12:1-4 NKJV)

Upon hearing of this, King David wanted this man put to death. However, David had not realized that he was this man.

So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. (See 2 Samuel 12:5-7) 

Thankfully upon understanding, David repented of his evil. Whenever we see someone in sin, our hearts should be broken. We know sin leads to destruction; we hate the thought of the consequences our neighbor will face as a result of their actions. It should be our hearts desire that this person not only avoid the consequences of their actions, but also come into a right relationship with the Lord. Even if someone has to be put out of the church because of their sin, our ultimate desire for them is to realize their wrong, come to repentance and be restored to a right relationship with God. We should rejoice when they have repented and been brought back into a right relationship with God.

The following is an example of how one may approach someone in sin:

"My friend, I do not know your heart, but I do see your actions. I am concerned for you. I want God's mercy to fall upon you, not His wrath. It is out of my concern and love that I come to you seeking to tell you of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ in hopes that you will listen and receive it so that you may receive all the good that God has to offer you, and not His wrath."

For further study, you may wish to read Romans chapter 2.


  1. This is good Ken,
    When I was a new Christian, I held everyone at arms length because I was quick to judge them...even my own mother...I wish I knew then what I know now, I would have held them close, showing them the love of Jesus while warning them about the price of sin...Jesus is very clear about the fact that we do not have authority to jusge the souls of anyone, but we have a responsibility to share with people the gospel of the One who can save them...and to warn a brother or sister in Christ when we see them going astray...I know in my own life, a simple quoted scripture from a fellow Christian will always do the job of making me see what I am doing is wrong...Too often Christians try to be the Holy Spirit to someone...that's when they use guilt to try to change someone...only the true Holy Spirit uses conviction to speak to our hearts in order to change our behavior or attitude.
    I regret being a judgmental Christian with logs in my eye, trying to forceably and blindly remove the specks from the eyes of others...I am trying to be better about this nowadays!
    ~God bless~ Lisa

  2. Thank you Lisa for sharing your thoughts. You are right, we must not try to be the Holy Spirit, but do as the Word instructs us. Jesus has called us to share the Good News with the lost, and that is what we must do. I, or anyone else cannot change their heart, only God can through the Holy Spirit and the Word.
    God bless,

  3. Hi Ken,
    I love how you put this together and finished off with how best to point out someone's sin. Great pictures to think on and pray over.

    Remove the sin in ourselves before we tell others their sin and then to do it gently just like Jesus did.

    Heading to read Romans 2.


  4. Hi Ken,
    as I was reading your post I felt your genuine concern for others to want to be right with the Lord, and for those who do not know Him to come to know Him, and I think this is what is the most important quality in a Christian, love for others. The Word itself is always the judge and I have had to realize, when in my mind I might think of judging a person on something, that I am quite capable of doing the same thing, and have to deal with it in myself before I would be able to help that person. I believe that empathy brings sympathy and sometimes God will use us to bring forth fishes of our own kind, those who are doing things that we have done ourselves that the Lord may have helped us to overcome. Whichever way, we are told not to judge outsiders, that God himself judges them and as for us, the word itself is our judge. God bless you in your ministry

  5. Ken,

    This is powerful and thoughtful. You are like the surgeon who with tender care helps remove the speck from your sister's eye.

    Thank you for always bringing people to Christ and speaking words of encouragement and truth from God's word into their lives.

    Blessings in Christ...Susan

  6. Child of God, It is easy to see the sin of others, and not see our own. Often times we are quick to point to the faults of others in order to lift ourselves up. Each of us stands guilty before a Holy and just God. It is only through Jesus Christ that one may be right with God. This should be our deepest desire for everyone, that they become right with God. Thank you for visiting and your comment. God bless

  7. Brenda, As I was reading your comment I thought of the passage where Jesus spoke of what is the greatest commandment. That is to love God will all our heart, mind and soul. Then the second is like it. To love your neighbor. The most loving thing we can do for someone is to point them to Jesus. Thank you for visiting and your comment and God bless

  8. Susan, Thank you for your kind words, they are much appreciated. May the Lord bless you

  9. Great post Ken! There's always those times when I'm more guilty than someone else. And then there's times when you just gotta say something. Your example is a good way of showing love to help someone out.

  10. Thank you for the example how to approach someone about their sin. It is very easy to judge and not be aware you are...I am sadden and have caught myself at times judging others harshly...especially over politics.

  11. Karen, you are right. Sometimes we just have to speak up. I believe it is best if we spend some quality time in prayer first. Thank you for visiting and commenting, which is much appreciated. God bless

  12. Dee, I too have found myself judging people. One time a friend of mine respectfully told me, "when you are pointing your finger at someone, remember there three pointing back at you. We must remember we are not to tear someone down, but point them in the direction they should go. I appreciate you stopping by my blog and leaving your comment. God bless

  13. Thank you, Ken. This sheds light on something I had wondered about.

  14. You are welcome, Karen. I am pleased to hear that the Lord used this post to shed some light on this for you. Thank you and God bless,

  15. Thank you for your wise post, Ken. I has caused me to stop and think about areas where I can't see be ause of that speck in my eye. And I need to work on removing that first, with God's help.

  16. Thank you Peggy for visiting and your comment. Sometimes is sure can be hard seeing the speak in our own eyes. We must keep pressing on and allowing the Lord to work in us molding us into His image as our light can shine brighter in this dark and fallen world. God bless

  17. Ken, wonderfully structured. Blessings my dear.

  18. Thank you JBR for visiting and your comment. God bless

  19. Mother Teresa said, "If you judge others, you have no time to love them." Excellent words you've penned here.

  20. Thank you Pamela for visiting and leaving your comment. So true, when we have a condemning heart toward someone, we cannot help or love them. God bless,

  21. http://aroundeverycornerat.blogspot.com/

    Amen, I like your analogy! I tend not to judge most people as I do not know what is in their past or in their heart....so i leave it up to the one who knows all those things.

  22. Thank you Jenny for visiting my blog and you taking the time to leave your comment. I appreciate it very much. I hope to see you visiting again. May the Lord bless you


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