You probably hear it all the time. Someone says (or rather shouts), “Don’t judge me!” It seems to me that we live in a world where an opinion (more often a conviction) is interpreted as judgemental. The “Don’t judge me” shouters will argue that the Bible tells us not to judge others. However, Christians are also told to avoid sin. Jesus often confronted others about their sins. He then told them to “go and sin no more.” How do we, as Christians, live by our convictions and tell others about Jesus and the consequences of sin without appearing judgemental? How do we know when we are crossing the line between conviction and judgement?
My pastor recently preached a sermon titled “Judge or Judge Not.” The scripture passage is taken from Matthew 7:1-6.
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The following are the notes I took during this sermon.
Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 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? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. – Matthew 7:1-6 (NASB)
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” This is the unbeliever’s favorite verse. They quote it every time someone mentions that they are involved in sin. However, we are not to be hyper-critical, looking for flaws in other people. We should not be like buzzards which fly over beautiful landscapes, but they only care about dead carcasses.
Don’t be a buzzard!
The word “judge” comes from the Greek word “Krino.” It refers to criticism. However, it does not forbid us from making wise, discerning judgements.
It is not wrong to make a “judgement call.”
We need to be aware of showing our ignorance at times. There are times when we don’t know the background circumstances in a situation. We might not know all the details.
More Bible Verses About Judging
I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. – Romans 14:14
But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. – Romans 14:10
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. – Romans 14:13
To summarize, don't be a buzzard and look for reasons to criticize others. However, don't be afraid to make wise judgement calls.