Summary: The danger of judging one another in our homes and in the family within the Body of Christ.
“Happily Ever After…” – Part Three – Family Sermon Series 2002
The Ugly Duckling – Matthew 7:1-6
Larry L. Thompson (5-26-02)
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  "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?  How can you say to your brother, ’Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a 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.  "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”
Can you tell me the one verse that it seems as though every non-Christian knows?
MATTHEW 7:1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”
Illustration: Bill Doran – Children’s Bible Study teacher:
For some reason, it is easier to jump to negative conclusions about people than it is to assume the best about them. When we do this, we communicate to them bad intentions and evil judgments that may not be true. We also reveal something about ourselves, for the faults we see in others are actually a reflection of our own. As Christian families we do want to be guilty of a Critical Spirit in our home, or condemning judgments to one another.
There are several reasons why family members as well as Christians in the family of God tend to judge and criticize.
1. Criticism boosts our own self-image. Pointing out someone else’s failure and tearing him down seems to build us up, at least in our own eyes.
2. Criticism is an enjoyed pastime. There is a tendency in human nature to take pleasure in hearing and sharing bad news and shortcomings.
3. Criticism makes us feel that our own lives (morality and behavior) are better than the person who failed.
4. Criticism helps us justify the decisions we have made and the things we have done throughout our lives. We rationalize our actions by pointing out the failure of others.
5. Criticism points out to our friends how strong we are. Criticism gives us good feelings because our rigid beliefs and strong lives are proven again by our comparing our life to our brother’s failure.
6. Criticism is an outlet for hurt and revenge. We feel they deserve it. “He hurt me so he deserves to hurt, too.” So we criticize the person who failed.
What does it mean to judge? There are three possible meanings of the word.
• To judge, as in the person who sits in a court room
• To discern
• To condemn
In order to be able to obediently follow the directive of Christ in Matthew 7:1, we must understand which of the meanings Jesus intends for this passage.
• To Judge, as in a court?
o Church discipline is not prohibited. (Matthew 18:16, Titus 3:10, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, John 10) Matthew 18:16 “But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ’every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
• Discernment judgment?
o According to Matthew 7:20, Jesus tells us that by our fruits we will be known. “So then, you will know them by their fruits.”
o Matthew 7:6: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”
• Condemning judgment?
o Jesus said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.”
What we need is to be built up in biblical truth so that we may defend ourselves from being critical of family members as well as brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. It is easy for Satan to get us to be critical of people, even the people we dearly love in our homes. When that happens we find ourselves loosing perspective of how Jesus wants us to respond to one another. Your family can learn to “Live Happily Ever After…” if by faith you will walk in the truth of this word.