Summary: The measure by which we pour into the lives of others will be used by God to pour into us.
There are official Government standards of measurement for weights, lengths, volumes, distances, altitudes, speeds, time, inside and outside diameters, pressures and anything else you can measure. Lacking these standards, we would be left with uncertainty about whether that 2X4 is a 2X4, is 8 feet long. This could lead to all sort of arguments. You want to buy a 36 inch yard of material, but the clerk cuts you a 30 inch piece. You protest, and the clerk says, “By my standard, that’s a yard.” It’s necessary to have a standard by which to measure.
These are arbitrary measurements. If authorities wanted to do it, a yard could be defined as 30 inches, a mile 6,000 feet and pound 14 ounces.
There are different tools for measuring. Odometers measure miles, rulers measure inches, a measuring cup measures ounces, scales measure weight, a stopwatch measures elapsed time and a thermometer measures degrees of heat or cold.
Each of us has our own unique means of measurement, which I will call, “our Bushel,” and the size of which we determine. However big or small that bushel, God will use it to measure to us what we measure out to others. That’s true:
I. IN JUDGING:
A. "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). We must not judge, but we must exercise some sort of God guided discernment or we can’t tell who are dogs and swine. But we can get a clue from God’s word:
1. They are scoffers, scorners and stubborn Christ rejecters.
2. They are rebels and perverters, of whom Isaiah said, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 (NASB).
3. I need to interject a thought.
a. It seems that every time we speak out a against some particular sin, or life-style, we are accused of judging. But if we are quoting God’s verdict, it is not judging, it’s reporting.
b. Let me tell you it is the ones who contradict God’s verdict who are judging – God says, “That is sin!” and they say, “It is not! You are wrong God!” – is that not judging God’s verdict and judging even God Himself?
B. We are to quote God’s judgments, but we are not to make our own judgment because
1. We are not authorized to determine right and wrong; that’s God’s place.
2. We are lacking in wisdom.
3. We are not in possession of all the facts.
4. We are not capable of true objectivity but are often biased. We tend to be more harsh on some than on others.
5. We may be swayed by fear or favor and our judgement be unjust.
6. We have enough sin of our own to deal with.
C. The kind of judgment Jesus refers to here needs clarification.
1. Jesus doesn’t seem to primarily warn against determining someone’s eternal state, damning some to hell and delivering others to Heaven. That is a privilege denied us.
2. I think He means, “Don’t impose your personal set of scruples, or your definition of morality, or your sense of what is permissible or not permissible, on others:
a. You may think it is sin to read the newspaper, especially the comics, on Sunday but you have no right to dump that upon others.
b. You might think eating anything but veggies is wrong, but you can’t decide what others must, or must not, consume. Just remember if God doesn’t want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat??
D. But if we insist on criticizing others by our own standards, remember that we have set the standard by which God will criticize us. Let me illustrate. A man and his wife were on a road trip and had just eaten lunch. When they had driven about 15 miles, the Mrs gasped and said, “Turn around and go back! I left my purse at the restaurant!” The Mr scowled and said, “You forgot your purse?? How dumb can you be? We’ll get there and someone will have emptied it!” And so on and so on all the way back to the restaurant. As Mrs exited the car, Mr called out, “While you’re in there, would you pick up my hat?” Judging her to be stupid for forgetting, he also judged himself as stupid for the same shortcoming.