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Judging - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Sermon shared by Brian La Croix

July 2005
Summary: First in two-part series on judging, this message based on Matthew 7:1-5.
Denomination: *Other
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Judging - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Matthew 7:1-5
July 10, 2005

Introduction

Have you ever had someone say to you, "Stop being so judgmental"? I have, a number of times, and generally a not-so-pleasant conversation begins.

Jesus commanded his followers to impact the world for him, and that involves telling others what Jesus and the rest of the Bible says about things.

Few issues create as much furor in our society today than the issue of judging. If you want to get someone mad at you real quick, just say that you think they are wrong about something theyíve said or done, or about an opinion or belief they have.

When you do that, you instantly become accused of being judgmental and intolerant.

Steve Martin said, "Never judge a man unless youíve walked a mile in his shoes. Then youíll be a mile away and you have his shoes."

Dare to share your opinion about saying, and youíre faced with, "Who are you to judge? Remember, Jesus said, "Donít judge lest you be judged." And theyíre right - Jesus did say that. But theyíre also wrong in the insinuation that Jesus was condemning the entire concept of judging.

So today weíre going to look at these words of Jesus, along with what else he said when he spoke them, so we can get an idea of what Jesus was really talking about here.

Our passage is Matthew 7:1-5. I invite you to read along with me in your Bibles. If you donít have a Bible or werenít able to bring yours, you can use the Bibles in the seats in front of you. And this passage is found on page 685 of those Bibles.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brotherís eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,í when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brotherís eye.

What is Jesus addressing, especially in verse 1? Is he saying that we should never judge?

No. Heís addressing the haughty and hypocritical attitude of those who think theyíve got it all together spiritually and who look down on others.

Again, as we read through the Sermon on the Mount, we find that one of the keystones is Jesusí distaste for hypocrisy.

He rips the religious leaders of his time for saying one thing and doing another, and for displaying their religion for the sake of applause.

Heís not saying, "donít judge at all." Heís saying, be careful when you judge."

So in trying to sort out what judging is all about and how to avoid looking like the hypocrites Jesus is discussing, I want us to look at the good, the bad, and the ugly about judging.

But before we do that, letís pray.

The Good: Knowing the facts about judging.

People are real fond of quoting verse 1 -

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

And if that verse meant what most people think it means, ripped from its context like it is, then they would have a point.

But as I mentioned a bit ago, this verse doesnít stand alone. And itís not everything there is to consider about judging people.

So letís look at some facts about judging in the
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