pecaspers: a Blog in transition

October 10, 2011

Judging Others

“How about you worry about you, and let them worry about them?” Whether working with young people in church or substitute teaching, that’s the kind of thing I tell students who are complaining about something little another kid has done. And I do mean little; “He’s in the wrong seat,” “She’s talking,” or “They aren’t doing their work.” If he’s in the wrong seat, let that seat’s owner come to me about it. I can hear her talking, and you yelling across the room that she’s talking is a much larger disruption. If you are busy telling me about other people not doing their work, then you apparently aren’t doing your work either. You make sure you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, and leave it to me to make sure everybody else is doing what they’re supposed to do. That’s part of my job, not yours.

“Judge not, that you be not judged,” (Matthew 7:1, ESV). That verse is probably quoted or alluded to more often than John 3:16 is. Most people pull it out when they’ve done something wrong–or continually do wrong as their lifestyle–and don’t want to be held accountable for their actions. When a Christian merely tries to call sin sin, the cry is often, “How dare you judge me/him/her/them! Jesus said, ‘Judge not!'” It doesn’t surprise me when non-Christians get this wrong. I’m horrified, though, at how often I hear God’s people misuse this teaching. This portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount continues as follows:

“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 (Matthew 7:1-5, ESV).

Jesus’ point isn’t that you can never say anything anyone does is wrong. His point is that you better have the big issues in your life under control before you try to help a fellow Christian with his problems. Take the log out of your own eye, (pay attention, now) then you will see clearly (See clearly to do what, Jesus?) to take the speck out of your brother’s eye! Get it? You make sure you have yourself under control, under the Holy Spirit’s control, so that you can help your brother. For more on this, check out Galatians 5:12 through 6:10.

Christians aren’t to “judge” others in the sense of declaring a final verdict as if we had all the information and were the ultimate authority. Jesus will be the final judge in that sense. However, we must “judge” in the sense of distinguishing between good and evil, sin and righteousness, and sometimes even good and best. With individuals, we must judge in keeping with the law of love, that we love others as ourselves. Most people find it far easier to try to correct others than to actually control themselves. Have you dealt with your planks? When you see a speck, are you trying to help in love or are you just looking for an excuse to poke someone in the eye?

Speaking of which, I think you’ve got a little something in there…

1 Comment »

  1. […] a list of links back to those articles: – “Red and Green” – “Judging Others” – “9/11 for the Tallassee Tribune” – “Don’t Send Your Kids to College and […]

    Pingback by Nothing New, So Let’s Do Something New « pecaspers: a Blog in transition — January 24, 2012 @ 11:25 PM | Reply

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