Summary: In an age of tolerance, perhaps one of today’s worst over reactions is a self-destructive judgmental tendency. Avoid a hypocritical, judgmental attitude that tears down in order to build oneself up. Jesus is not giving a blanket statement to be naive, bu
Jesus Teaches About Judging Others (Matt 7:1-5)
In an age of tolerance, perhaps one of today’s worst reactions is a self-destructive tendency that needs to be checked is a hypocritical, judgmental attitude that tears down in order to build oneself up. Jesus is not giving a blanket statement to be naive toward others. The Lord is not telling us to overlook wrong behavior just for the sake of tolerance. Jesus knew that the Pharisees dominated the religious landscape of His day with their judgmentalism. Today His words of warning against judging are even more needed in our world of angry, critical and cynical thinking.
Jesus said, "Stop judging others and you will not be judged. For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, "Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye when you cannot see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye."
Quote: Pride is at the root of judgmentalism. Those who know God will be humble. Those who know themselves cannot be proud.
Quote: If you think God’s thoughts, you will tend to not think too highly of yourself.
Quote: Great people are the ones unconscious of greatness; only little people want to increase their significance by putting down others.
Illustration: Some people make judging others their specialty. According to some century-old church records, a congregation in a small midwestern town in the United States appointed two officers in the church and gave them the titles of "Pointer" and "Beaner." They each had a special responsibility during the Sunday sermons.
The duty of Pointer was to call out the names of those in the congregation who needed to take particular note of the sermon. Beaner’s task was to sit in the choir loft with a bean shooter (no doubt the envy of young boys) and awaken drowsy attenders with a well-aimed bean. Who would want to attend that church?
Jesus warned about the danger of pointing out the faults of others. He said people with planks in their eyes should not attempt to remove specks out of other people’s eyes. He challenged His hearers to choose humility rather than hypocrisy by always applying the truth to themselves before noting the faults in others.
What would people find in our churches today? Those who specialize in speck removal or plank removal? If it’s the latter, they’ll likely hear someone say, "I’m glad I heard today’s sermon--I really needed it!" And they may want to return next Sunday. Jonie Yoder (Our Daily Bread)
Jesus said, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. for out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45,46) -
Jesus knew that our speech reveals the true underlying beliefs, attitudes and motivations of our being. If people are judgmental and unforgiving they reveal a prideful Pharisaical attitude that is displeasing to God. Do not associate with such people who are given to anger or you will become like them.
Illustration: When I served as a missionary in Nigeria I lived next to an old abandoned well. Adjacent to that well grew a large mango tree. However, the fruit of that giant mango tree was very bitter because its roots drew from the rancid garbage that had been thrown down that old abandoned well. Even though the fruit looked delicious on the outside, its taste was putrid. That is the way many people are unless they are willing to let the blood of Christ cleanse their thoughts, attitudes and motivations. Many people choose to remain bitter instead of allowing the Lord, His word and His Spirit to make them better from the inside out.
Here are a few guidelines to help us avoid the tendency to have a judgmental attitude:
1. Jesus is teaching us to be discerning not negative in our perspectives, attitudes and relationships. Surely, the Lord instructs us to expose false prophets and beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Ultimately, we are to leave the judging to God who is the only one who is completely in possession of all the facts about people.
2. Jesus warns us against trying to see clearly before taking the obstacles from our own perspectives. Unconsciously we all have things in our mind’s eye that tend to distort our ability to see with complete objectivity. Only the sovereign Lord is able to understand all peoples’ motives. Perhaps a person is doing something that makes perfect sense to their temperamental motivation for peace, harmony and good human relations where you want to see tasks completed. Allow the one who made man to correctly evaluate according to His standards and not our own.