Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 1Co 6:1-2 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Much confusion exist in the Body of Christ about judgment. Like the above Scriptures, there appears to be a contradiction. Are we supposed to judge people or not? First we’re told not to judge, then we’re told we’re going to judge the whole world, so why can’t we judge these small matters? Which is it? Well, both are right; and you will understand the difference by the end of this series. Let’s get into God’s Word.
If we look at the context of Matthew Chap. 7, we see Jesus is talking about what has been labeled “The Golden Rule” (Lk 6:31). When He says not to judge, He is talking about hypocrisy. He is saying, “Don’t judge other people by one standard, and yourself by another.” This is clear by the following verses, which ask why your trying to pick a speck of dust out of your brothers eye, while you have a big ole’ cedar post sticking out of your own.
We are not to be judge, jury, and executioner over others. We are not to criticize and condemn, and assume we know the why’s of people’s choices. Only God sees the heart - not us (1Sam 16:7). We are to be merciful, if we want mercy (Jam 2:12-13). We are not to judge our brother - that is The Lord’s job (Jam 4:11-12). So am I saying we should never judge? No, that’s not what I’m saying. Let’s keep going.
Some people love to use the above Scriptures to say that if you speak out against the evils of abortion, homosexuality, pedophilia, lying, drunkenness, etc. - that you are being “judgmental”. They love to quote Matthew 7:1. The ungodly especially know that verse in The Bible. However, they don’t bother to read the next several verses. In vs. 5, it clearly states that once you have addressed the issue in your life, then you are able to help your brother with his problem. So, isn’t that judging that your brother does have a problem? Of course it is. It just means that you don’t need to judge your brother concerning his filthy movies, until you get your filthy magazines out from under your bed and deposited in the burn barrel.
Also in vs. 6, it says not to cast your pearls and holy things (God’s Word) before dogs and pigs. Doesn’t this mean you’ve judged that spiritually someone is a dog or pig, and therefore your not going to waste your time, energy, and words on them? Haven’t you made a judgment? Of course you have. You see, we are to judge what is right (Lk 12:57). We are to judge righteous judgment (Jn 7:24). We are to judge what is good and holy and just and righteous according to God’s Word and standard.
For instance, if you stole my wallet, then I can judge according to God’s Word that that is a sinful action, and unacceptable to God (Ex 20:15, Eph 4:28). However, I am not to judge your motive or heart; nor am I to judge whether or not you’re saved. I should also not have the attitude of wanting to lock you up and throw away the key - although just restitution should be made. Why? Because I am to do unto others as I would have them do to me. I would want mercy and forgiveness. I would not want to be labeled a thief the rest of my life. I would want a chance to make things right. So I should give what I want, though it may be hard. Of course, as stated before, there are dogs and pigs out there - and some may have crossed the line by taking advantage of people’s mercy time and time again. They will reap what they sow.
Next week we are going to look in depth at proper judgment inside the church. Judgment of our brothers and sister’s in Christ, as well as church discipline. It will be an eye-opening article, and you don’t want to miss it. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord! (Phip 4:4)