If you are a Christian who has ever tried to lead a lost soul to Christ, or perhaps lovingly correct a wayward brother or sister in Christ you have probably heard the statements before. Statements such as “You are a Christian! You aren’t supposed to Judge!” many Christians today are crippled by statements such as these. They feel completely torn. On one hand they have a strong desire to reach out to the lost. On the other hand they don’t want to be accused of “Judging” so more often than not, they do nothing.
This truly is a puzzling question for many, Should Christians Judge? I want to briefly address the main passage of scripture that is used to say that we shouldn’t judge, and see if this is the message that God is trying to Convey.
Matthew 7:1-5 (ESV) “Judge not, that you be not judged.For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.Why do you see 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,’ when there is the log 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.
There are 3 observations I would like to make about this passage:
#1. This is a warning to critical Christians.
The people that Christ was addressing in this passage no doubt had a heart problem. They were a negative people. They were not content in just pointing out the sins around them. The were “speck hunting” specialists. They would ignore whatever facet of their lives needed changing, and seek out the speck in someone else’s eye.
We are often more critical of others, than we are ourselves. The people Jesus was addressing here in Matthew 7 are no different. In this passage it says in the same way, or the same measure that you use. In other words, stating that we will be held to the same standard that we hold others. Why is it that we are so harsh towards others, and so easy on ourselves? Let me call your memory back to King David in 2 Samuel 12. Nathan told David of a rich man, who took from a poor man, what little he had (rather than out of his abundance) to prepare a feast for a guest. Do you remember David’s response to this story? With vengeance and wrath in David’s heart, he responded that this man deserved to die! Do you remember Nathan’s response to this? He told David “You are the man!” This was not a compliment.
#2. Some judging is not only acceptable by God, but is commanded by Him.
Those that say those phrases mentioned above about Christians not judging people, either have never read, heard, or just completely reject the following verses. Jesus does not say to the man with a log in his eye, to “Get the log out of his eye, then mind his own business” Rather Jesus states then reason that he was to remove the log. “..and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” The purpose in focusing on ourselves, and our own sin is not only to benefit us, but also for us to be better equipped to assist others who are struggling.
John 7:24-“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
#3. Jesus cares about the speck!
There are many who look at the surface of Matthew 7:1-5 and say, “Jesus doesn’t care about the speck! Jesus doesn’t care if I have just a little bit of sin in my life” They reason with themselves saying “As long as I don’t have a log in my eye” or “As long as I am not as bad as some people” then I will be okay.
This is simply not true. Once again, Jesus’ command to the log-eyed sinner was to remove the log from his own eye THEN remove the speck from another’s eye. You see, allowing a little bit of the world to dwell within us, even just a little bit of sin, is in no way pleasing to God! In fact we read in James chapter 1:27 That one of the characteristics of “pure religion” is to keep your self unstained or unspotted from the World!
Should Christians Judge? Yes! But it must always be the “Right Judgement” not, judgements based on appearances, not judgements based on race, political parties, or occupational positions. Our judgements must always be based on scripture. If something is sin, it is right for the Christian to call it wrong. However, our Judgements must always be done in a spirit of love, and gentleness.