Jesus in Matthew 7v1 says the famous words, “Judge not or you too will be judged.” In view of this often times we hear the church is judgmental even though Jesus told us not to judge. An interesting thing happens however, just a few verses later in Matthew 7. Jesus goes on to essentially tell us to judge those that are around us. Is Jesus confused? When is it ok to judge somebody? Is it wrong or not?
We get some principals in this text.
Firstly, the judgement that he warns against is judgement that is self-righteous and condemning. John 3:17 tells us Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn it, so neither should we. And this is the first key.
If you ever are going to ‘give feedback’ to a friend or anyone for that matter – first scrub your motives. Are you condemning in the way you are approaching them? Or is your motive love? If you are there to tell somebody off or sort them out, then run away…
Secondly, notice Jesus then says to ‘first remove the plank from your own eye’. Here is the next key. The plank firstly and most likely represents our own PRIDE. Have some self-awareness and humility. Examine your own life first – where is it that you fall down? Examine yourself first. Doing this should if nothing else humble you to remember that you yourself are a broken messed up person and remind you NOT to condemn your brother or sister.
Finally, notice something, Jesus says… “first remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” In other words YES there is a time to point out something in somebodies life, there is a time when we can ‘judge’ others. However we get the order right….But what does this sort of judgement look like…
Well again the bible gives us the key, it says, “…so we can see clearly…” and later on Jesus uses the word “recognize”. The point here is that this sort of judgement is not condemning but rather it is simply simply saying what see. This is vastly different.
Let me give an example.
It is the same sort of judgement for instance a dentist would make. If you went to the dentist a for a check up and he said you have a cavity and I need to fix that.” What he did was he simply made a judgement based on what he saw and his training. You wouldn’t feel condemned when he said that…. Can you imagine this? You have a cavity and you jump out of the chair and say, “don’t you condemn me!” “Your judging me!” He would say…. “I am just stating the truth!” And of course he isn’t judging, he is merely appropriately discerning what is going on. On top of that he is there to help me as well.
So this is the same for us. Whenever we think about approaching anybody with anything that approaches judgement. First… Scrub your own heart. 2. Examine your own life and remove pride. 3. In love, state what you see 4. Be willing to help with the healing.