To Judge or Not to Judge, That is the Question

“Judge not, that you be not judged."  Matthew 7:1

It is the verse used by non-believers more than any other as a weapon against Christians longing to point out, criticize, and judge sin.

So, are Christians to keep silent about sin because no one but Jesus was ever perfect?    Are we to judge, or not to judge?

In Matthew 7:1, Jesus told us not to judge.  Matter settled, right?

Not so fast.  What is Jesus really saying here?

We have to remember that whenever Jesus taught, He was aiming at the heart and it's true intention.

When we read this account from the Sermon on the Mount in Luke 6:37-38 it says, "Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back."

I believe Jesus is speaking to the heart that is critical and longs to point out the flaws of others, the heart that lacks mercy and seeks retribution, the heart that cannot see its own sin--its own heart that has been forgiven of much.  Have you ever done that?

Sadly, I have.

So, does this mean we should never correct someone who is sinning?  That we should simply live and let live?  Mind our own business?  Coexist?

No.  If we’ve experienced the joy of knowing and being joined to Jesus, we can’t possibly keep Him to ourselves.  Titus 2:15 tells us, "You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say."  

In Jude 1:23 we read, "Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives."

And, many other passages of Scripture, including the Great Commission, make clear that we are to guide and correct our fellow believers.  It is the spirit in which we correct, the heart's intention, that is important.

Our true motive and the intent of our heart must always be love.

And, if that is the case, then we're not really judging, are we?

Goodnight, Runners.


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