New Testament Journey Day 23. Matthew 7 1-6. Jesus Teaches about Judging Others.
This is likely the most quoted, and mis-quoted scripture in the bible. How many times have you heard – “The bible says thou shall not judge.” as an “excuse” for bad behavior.
What Jesus is saying here is to examine our own motives and conduct instead of judging others. The traits that bother us in others are often the habits we have ourselves. Our bad habits and behavior patterns are the very ones that we most want to change in others. My husband sees this in counseling and says people often think they are looking out a window, but in reality, they are looking in a mirror. Do you find it easy to magnify others’ faults while excusing your own? If you are getting ready to criticize someone. check to see if you deserve the same criticism. Judge yourself first, and then lovingly forgive and help your neighbor.
When Jesus said “Do not judge others” He’s speaking against the kind of hypocritical, judgmental attitude that tears others down in order to build oneself up. It’s not a blanket statement to overlook wrong behavior of others but a call to be discerning, rather than negative. For example, if your child comes home and says they want to go to a party with 3 other friends who are known to drink and do drugs and have already been in one accident because they were drinking and driving – as a parent you better judge. Not the friends (which is how most take it) but using discernment with the situation. I’ll never forget being a Freshman in High School and an older boy invited me to a party. My parents said no. I was mad. I found out on Monday that someone was killed in an automobile accident leaving that party. I’m glad my parents used discernment (Judged) the situation.
As Christians, we can’t turn a blind eye to sin. If God said it’s wrong – it’s wrong. But that doesn’t mean we can’t love others, like Jesus did, and share with them the hope, joy and peace that comes from living a life free from the bondage of sin.
**some excerpts taken from the Life Application Study Bible