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Judging Others Apr 29 2008


"And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" - Matthew 7:3

Imagine that you need surgery to remove a splinter of wood from your eye. It's a dangerous procedure; one slip of the scalpel and you are ruined. The doctor tells you that the surgery will be no problem, but something about the doctor is so horrifying it's comical. You notice he has a two-by-four through both his eyes.

That ludicrous scene is what Jesus was illustrating when He talked about judging others. He said, "Do not judge or you too will be judged...Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye, and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye...you hypocrite? First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

In judging the flaws of others, we are often blind to our own. It's ludicrous to get in the judging business, for none of us has good enough vision to know the whole story. Only God sees with complete vision. He's the only one with 20/20 vision in understanding another person's life. Let's get into the loving business and leave the judging to God.

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The conclusion of this article goes completely against what the Scripture says. Jesus said, "take the plank out of your own eye, AND THEN you will see clearly to REMOVE THE SPECK..." What does removing the speck mean? It means judging!

The message Jesus is giving is that you need to judge without hypocrisy.

Pastor Wright, please correct the false teaching that Christians should not judge. There are numerous other passages in the Bible that encourage righteous judgment.

1 Corinthians 6:2

 
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I'm not sure I agree with Ben. The context of 1 Cor 6 deals with lawsuits and disputes. I'm not convinced that fallen human beings can have "righteous judgment". Look the men who were going to stone the woman, and Jesus told them the one without sin should cast the first
stone. Nobody could.
Jesus says in John 5 HE is the one who will judge, and not even for Himself, but for the Father.

 
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Paul says that Christians will judge the world. In the example of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus was not speaking to His followers. At the time Jews were not permitted to execute anyone, and everyone knew it. They were just trying to lay a trap for Jesus in hopes of getting Him in trouble with the Romans. It really had nothing to do with not passing judgment. He then told her to go and sin no more.

How can you tell someone to "sin no more" unless you first judge that they have sin?

 
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Two things. One, Mat 7:1-2: "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, two, John 7:24: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

The way I see it is thus: if we judge unrighteously (e.g. the mote in our own eye), we will be judged by the same judgment. However, If we judge righteously (e.g. calling sin sin), we will be judged righteously. These things apply to us on earth and in the present age in interaction with others.

To state that the Scriptures forbid judging others is not correct. One of the problems with our country today is our lack of the discernment (a synonym of judgment) of evil. We do not judge anything or anyone thereby accepting everything, including evil, as OK.

Mark O.

 
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I think that if we are perfectly honest ,we must admit that Christians are often the first to judge others ! We have many non-believing friends who tell us that one of the primary reasons they shy away from church is that they feel Christians are "keeping score" when they are in their presence.LOVE is the name of the game (and we all know that's not always easy.

 
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i don't know how many times i've read these verses, and then turn around and fail it. i'm such a hypocrite. but i guess that's why God says to look at Christ. my prayer today will be that i will not judge today. but my everyday prayer, thus far, is for God to change my heart!
also, i agree with what the other susan said about Christians being the 1st ones to judge. we need to pray for and encourage each other.

 
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In the last few years I've begun to learn that, sin is sin. In the past I've been guilty of "rating" others' sins. Now I see that we are all sinners, no matter what our sins are. This forces me not to worry about others' sins, but to worry about my own. It's made me forgive more easily because we all need mercy for our transgressions. Of course, I still have to fight that desire to judge and rate sins.

 
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Christ did not forbid judging others, but he did warn against judging others in a way that we didn't want to be judged ourselves. There is an old saying that is still good to use today "We need to sweep around our own backdoors before we want to clean up someone else's mess". We will keep our front porch cleaned but we figure nobody will go around back and see what is back there. We can see other people's faults but we cant see the wrong we do. We love to condem someone for being a drunk, but do we gossip? We want to tell someone how to raise their children but what about our brats running and screaming in Church. Before we tell someone else what they need to do lets first consider where our faults lie and straighten them up and then worry about someone else. If we do this we may find we don't have time to worry about other peoples problems. Pray for me and I will pray for you.

 
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I agree that as Christians we judge far too much and don't take a close enough look at ourselves. Be honest, we do look at others in the church, our best friends and find their faults. I am a pretty open person and I think I can see mine fairly clearly, and there is a lot of them, but the big thing is to not look at others but focus on mine. My father in law once told me and it stuck in my head, that we have to judge others in that, are they going against the scriptures in their word and action. We need that kind of judgement so we will go on the straight and narrow and not be swayed somewhere else.

 
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Well put, Jerry. The key is to understand that we are all sinners. You would not be a hypocrite then, which is what Jesus is warning about. We should not judge arrogantly, or to look down on others, but with love as the motive. Some struggle with sins that I would probably not have an issue with, while I am tempted in other areas. If I see a fellow Christian sinning in some area, I can bring that up to him or her, but also need to realize that I am just as much a sinner in God's eyes, and would be open to the same judgement. The scripture referenced in this devotion says: "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you". The measure I would always try to hold to is God's word. God will judge me by that same measure, and I know that I would fail that test were it not for the righteousness of Jesus that covers my sin.

 
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I like the word used by Mark O. which is discernment. I feel Christians are to use discernment and decide if an action a person is participating in is evil and if they are not going along with what is in Scripture. Then the Christian can consider what action they are to take: not follow in the actions of an evildoer, and follow Scripture guidelines for trying to correct the evildoers actions if that is an appropriate response. I have always related judgement to making the decision that someone's actions condemns them to hell and it is only the place of God to sit in the judgement seat in that case. I really liked what Melanie said about "rating sins" and remembering that we are all sinners in the sight of God. This is an interesting discussion today.

 
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Judging others it seems has been one of those ideas Christians ( Myself included ) have been misled on and so we are confused. If a person lies, does that not make him/her a liar? So if I call a liar a liar am I judging?
I think satan in his cunning has once again taken scripture and twisted it just enough so we see the sin, but won't comment because we don't "judge".
Calling a truth is not judgement, it is simply stating a fact- one that can change, certainly.

 
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I've got enough sin in my own life that I honestly don't see how I can go around pointing out the sin in others.

 
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Gail and Gracie, Your comments got me to thinking more on this subject. Isn't it the words in the Bible that make us aware of sin? Many unbelievers do not care about what is in the Bible but there are those who would be receptive to hearing what God has to say about their lifestyle and actions. Who but a Christian who cares about them would go to the discomfort of letting them know that by God's standards they are not living the proper life? Where would we be if someone had not made us aware of what is in the Bible? Some sins we have in our lives we are aware of and work to correct but there are other sins that we may be unaware of that it would be helpful if another Christian brought out the words in the Bible to us to show us the better way to live. Isn't this a way to show truth in love? I have not been very good at doing this myself but when I consider the golden rule I think about how I would want to be treated. I think this would be the right approach to tell someone that as a believer myself, I came across some words in the Bible that might relate to their situation that they may want to consider for themselves. Also make a point to admit that one is a sinner by God's standards as are all people by His righteous standards. Then it is up to God's words to convict and draw them closer to Him or not. Any thoughts?

 
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I think a lot of people are guilty of this. I know I myself am horrible guilty at this. But if all we show is hate towards people that are sinning by judging them. Then how are they supposed to see Gods love when all they see and feel from us is hate.I think we all need to show love in all situations. Also we need to pray in every situation because God is the one who can change hearts. So I think we need to know what they do is wrong first and foremost. Then we need to figure out how to love them without condemning. God really truly is love and we need to learn more and more how to show that.

 
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My husband and I recently had a good conversation with a good friend of ours who is also a brother at our church. We were talking about how two of our personal friends are gay and neither of us really know how to approach this topic with them in witness. In fact, we have always tried to avoid talking about the biblical view of homosexuality because each of our gay friends becomes quite argumentative and beligerent when the issue is raised (frankly because neither of them are saved). Our pastor friend gave us some wise advice. He said basically that God isn't interested in whether they are gay or straight or bisexual. He's interested in whether they know him. If we go around focusing on other peoples' sins - especially those of the unsaved - we will never reach them for the Lord. We need to let people know that God is interested in starting a personal relationship with them REGARDLESS of their lifestyle. When they have been made to feel welcomed by God and once that relationship is established, the Lord begins a work in their hearts.

As far as judging other Christians, I think that's what Matthew 7:3 is talking about. We need to worry about what's in our own backyard before we start looking for the mess in others'. If a fellow believer is doing something we know is objectionable to God, spend some time in prayer for that person. Why do we feel the need to judge them? We've got enough to deal with in our own lives.

 
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Gracie, You are correct in the fact that God wants them to be saved. I was taught a good lesson about dealing with the sins of people, you cant do anything untill they become saved. It is the same situation with fish. You can't start cleaning the fish untill you get them in the boat. Once a person is saved then you can talk to them about their sins and show them what the Bible says about them. I personally believe that once a person is truly saved they will change from the life style of homosexuality and will follow the teachings of Christ. We do not need to shune them but love them in Christ and be careful not to insert our convictions on them but the Bible. God's word condems this lifestyle just like he does many other, some of which we may have been guilty of. Pray for them and love their souls but not their lifestyle. God bless you and I will pray for you to be led by his Spirit.

 
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Thanks, Jerry!

 

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