“Don’t judge me!” I’m sure you’ve all heard that before. People often use this statement so that their behavior can be overlooked. Indeed, the Bible does say “judge not, that you be not judged” Matthew 7:1 NKJV. But what does this mean exactly? From this statement, Jesus goes on to talk about pointing out the speck in our brother’s eye when we have a plank in our own, calling such a person a hypocrite. Often times, we like to point out the faults in others so that we can feel better about ourselves. And it’s often true that the fault we identify in another is one we struggle with as well. So hypocrisy is the key here. We are not to make judgments hypocritically or self-righteously. Jesus then goes on to instruct us not to give what is holy to dogs or cast pearls to the swine. It would seem this would require some judgment, determining who are dogs and swine and who are not. Then we find Jesus makes this statement in John 7:24 – “do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (NKJV). In other words, Jesus is telling us to make sure we get all the facts before we make a judgment so we can judge righteously. But what makes a judgment righteous? When we gather the facts, they are to be weighed against one thing – God’s Word. How do the facts line up with what God has said? Ultimately, it is God’s Word that makes a judgment righteous! – not our opinion, nor our set of circumstances, nor our world view. God’s Word is the only rule of law. And, God’s reason for correcting His children is always LOVE! And if that is not our reason as well, then maybe the one we should be judging is ourselves.
24 Be honest in your judgment and do not decide at a glance (superficially and by appearances); but judge fairly and righteously. John 7:24 (AMP)
3 “Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Luke 17:3 (MSG)
11 My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. 12 For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11-12 (NLT)