The verdict is…

Have you ever been on the wrong end of someone’s mistaken judgement about you? Maybe they did not have all the facts. Maybe they did not hear. Maybe they did not have or even understand all the evidence and yet they concluded things about you. Maybe they sized you up and wrote you off.

Or maybe you have been on the wrong end because you were the one who passed judgment.

We look at people, evaluate the information we see and render verdicts! Jesus stated very clearly and very simply: Judge Not, lest you be judged!

But, are we to just walk thru life with no opinion or discernment at all? While it is wrong to evaluate and render verdicts, it is equally wrong to evaluate and not render aid!

Matthew 7: 1-2

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Which standard are you using to judge? When it comes to us being judged what measure would we like to be used against us?

We want mercy and grace! True disciples, who have been impacted by the mercy of God in the arrival of the kingdom of heaven, will exhibit mercy toward one another, not judgment. Because true disciples have recieved forgiveness, they will forgive one another.

Matthew 7: 3-5

“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? How 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? *You 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.

What Jesus is condemning here is not judgment in and of it self. He is condemning the practice of examining others before we have evaluated ourselves. He is condemning the practice of recognizing the minuscule things in other people’s lives while all the time missing the magnitude of issues that are in our life.

The greatest danger, problem or potential  consequence of being a judgemental person, or being judgmental on a specific situation is that we remove ourselves from the possibility of being part of the solution and we become part of the problem. Verse 5* is understood as a positive instruction: if you have reproved yourself and then reprove others, you are not a “perverse judge;”you are doing what the gospel commands.

Correction is not forbidden. Removal of specks is not forbidden. In Galatians 6 Paul gives us some counsel that will go a long way to helping us understand.

Correction is not forbidden making assumptions is.

Correction is not forbidden but drawing conclusions is.

Correction is not forbidden but magnification is.

Correction is not forbidden but self-righteousness is.

It must come from a humble and self-examined life that has removed the plank of self-righteous judgement (cf. Gal. 6:1-5). Then restoration can occur with the right attitude.

After self-criticism takes place, relationships are based on redemptive empathy rather that condemning detachment. – Ulrich Luz