“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” (Matthew 7:1-2)
Christ is not speaking against the judgment of evil doers by the higher power. Paul is very plain concerning this in Romans 13:1-9. But rather, Christ is speaking of saved people judging other people’s motives, their short-comings, their physical defects, or even their sins; using themselves as the measuring stick.
It is impossible for any of us to judge another according to our own righteousness for the Bible says:
- “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)
- “…for there is no man that sinneth not…” (1 Kings 8:46)
- “…all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” (Isaiah 64:6b)
No man in the light of God’s law can say, “I am righteous and have no sin,” or “I have never sinned.” Paul said again in Romans 3:10, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Read Psalms 14:2-3.) And in Romans 3:19b, “…become guilty before God.”
Therefore, no man can be the standard, or the measuring stick, whereby another man can be judged, because all men have broken God’s Law and are sinners (Romans 5:12). The only righteousness is in Christ. He is the Righteousness of God (Romans 3:24-25; 10:4). But even when we have been declared righteous, it is on Christ’s merits and perfection; not on the sinner’s.
Christ goes on in verses 3-5 of Matthew 7 to explain that first the judge needs to cast out the beam from his own eye, so he can see clearly to cast out the mote (something very small) out of his brother’s eye.
There are several problems when a man begins to judge another man’s sins or faults, etc. It reveals the judge is:
- Walking in pride: when one judges another man’s sins in light of himself, it is a great moment of pride. Same as the Pharisee said of the publican, “… God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican” (Luke 18:11-14). Jesus said in verse 14b, “…for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased…” When one can put down another person, it lifts himself up; “Oh, my sin is not as bad as his sin.” (This is in the eyes of men only, for James 2:10 says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Sin is sin in the eyes of God, and if you broke the law of God in one point (and we did in Adam, Roman 5:12), you are as guilty before God as if you had broken all of His Commandments.) So it is really a cover-up by the judge. It makes him feel better if he can find a sin in another person that is worse than his (according to society).
- Attempting to cover his own sins: when one judges another, it keeps his mind off his own sins by declaring another’s sins. It shifts the blame onto another so he will not be in the spot light. It helps to relieve his burden of guilt. He can hide his sin behind the other man’s sins or faults. Therefore, he never faces his own sins. This:
- Robs him of fellowship with Christ (Isaiah 59:2).
- Leaves him calling God a liar (1 John 1:8-10) and proves that the truth is not in him.
- Sets the judge on a path of destruction:
- Jesus said in Matthew 7:2, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
- Numbers 32:23b, “…and be sure your sin will find you out.”
- Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
- Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
- Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
- Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
- Proverbs 6:14-15, “Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. (15) Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.” And verses 6:16, 19c, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him… he that soweth discord among brethren.”
- Proves the judge is not a friend:
- Proverbs 17:9, “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.”
- Proverbs 11:13, “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.”
- Proverbs 10:19, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”
The opposite of judgment is forbearance:
Colossians 3:13a, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another….”
Galatians 6:1, “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.”
After forbearance, then follows forgiveness.
But when one walks in the flesh and not in the Spirit, it is easier to judge than to forbear and forgive.
Remember these three things when you begin to judge another’s sin or faults:
- You are not the standard;
- You cannot know all the facts or the reasons why;
- You need to judge yourself first.