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Don’t judge me!
How many times have you heard someone make this statement?
Many times the person that makes this statement may need to be corrected for some wrongdoing on his or her part. However, a misinterpretation of scripture can produce greater strife and separation than restoration and peace.
Matthew 7:1-5 – Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
What does it mean to judge someone?
The word judge in Matthew 7:1 is translated from the original Greek translation (Strong’s Concordance) as properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:–avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think. In order to properly judge someone, we would need to know ALL of the facts about a person or situation.
1. It is virtually impossible for a person to know everything about another person or situation. He or she would need to know another person’s thoughts, motives, heart, and reasoning. This is why there is only one true judge (2 Timothy 4:1, 6-8).
2. Judging casts a shadow of a final sentence to be pronounced on a person or situation. Now, without understanding all of the details of a person or event, we may make claims prematurely and in ignorance.
How is correcting someone different?
1. People that judge others do not seek to correct a person’s behavior or situation. These individuals simply pronounce their sentence or position on the matter and move on (after telling a few people how they feel).
2. Correction improves a person’s or situation status, standing, or position. Looking at Matthew 7:3-5, the person that sees the mote in his brother’s eye wants to assist him. This person doesn’t want to judge his brother.
3. The person wanting to correct his brother must first correct any negative behaviors, issues, and sin within him or herself (2 Corinthians 13:5). Now, this is a personal and internal action that can only be verified by that person and the Lord. When a person self-corrects, it comes with humility, conviction, and compassion. The person is free of sin and a defiling mind and heart, and is ready to properly assist his brother.
4. After a self-correction (and often chastisement from the Lord), a person is in the right mindset and position to truly help his brother.
Jesus said do not judge…He did not say do not correct.
Galatians 6:1-2 - Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.