Thou Shalt Not Judge?
“Judge not that you be not judged.”
Does Jesus really say that?
Yes He does, in Matthew 7:1. But, do not miss the context: Jesus is not saying that we shouldn’t judge at all. He’s saying don’t judge hypocritically. Continuing on, He says,
“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there’s a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:4-5)
Did you get that? First take the log out of your eye and then take the speck out of your brother’s eye. By this, the Bible is actually telling us that we’re supposed to judge.
- Better is open rebuke than hidden love (Proverbs 27:5 )
- Open your mouth, judge righteously (Proverbs 31:9)
- If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault… (Matthew 18:15)
- Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment (John 7:24)
- The spiritual person judges all things… (1 Corinthians 2:15)
- Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (1 Corinthians 5:12)
- All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for reproof and correction… (2 Timothy 3:16)
Now we’re definitely not supposed to be jerks when it comes to judgment. We also read in 2 Timothy that the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to everyone, correcting opponents with gentleness.
The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting opponents with gentleness. (2 Timothy 2:24-25)
Titus 3:2 says to be gentle and show perfect courtesy to all people.
Speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, be gentle, and show perfect courtesy to all people. (Titus 3:2)
The purpose is not to point out everyone’s wrong so that we can show how much more right we are. The purpose is to point them to Christ, who forgives sin and gives eternal life.
Know the Word of God so that we’re able to instruct each other properly!
…when we understand the text.