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What Jesus Said About Judging Others

In Matthew 7:1-6 NLT, Jesus is still preaching His Sermon on the Mount. This lesson is about not judging others. How often have you heard someone say (or have said it yourself), "I know I'm not perfect, but..."? The very next thing following that common statement is a judgment about someone else. The devil loves when we say that. God doesn't.

I'll admit that I used to say this at least once a month if someone was doing something that I thought they shouldn't be doing. But when I seriously studied these words that Jesus said in these 6 verses, I have never used that judgmental phrase again. I know I'm not perfect. That's as far as I need to go. Let's carefully read these words from this part of Jesus' sermon.

"Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others."

When we read that we will be treated as we treat others means others are going to treat us the way we treat them. They'll point out our weaknesses and imperfections, according to their standards, and expect us to live by the way God has called them to live. God has a calling for each of us, which requires each of us to live a particular way for our calling. God's calling for someone else may not require them to do - or not do - the same things He has asked of me.

In the June 16th devotion of the book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young wrote, "I have called each of My children to a different path, distinctly designed for that one. Do not let anyone convince you that his path is the only right way. And be careful not to extol your path as superior to another's way. What I require of you is to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Me - wherever I lead." The italicized words are from Micah 6:8.

Thus, God has provided proper actions for me to take instead of judging. So, if God has told me to use Sunday as my day of rest, for instance, that doesn't mean that another day of rest that you have chosen is "wrong". That's very trivial. However, with that said, this doesn't mean that we let someone die in true sin. We should pray for them and try to help them rise from their sin. That isn't judging; that's caring. And God expects us to care. 

"The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged." 

The verse above was the real eye opener for me. God will justly judge us the way we judge others. Therefore, if I'm quick and harsh to judge others, God will do the same for me. If I show no love, grace, and forgiveness, God will treat me the same. But others on this earth will also judge us the same way we have judged others. If we show compassion and understanding instead, we will get that from others and God as well. Therefore, this sentence was enough to cure me of my judgment issues. If I find myself going in that direction, I'll pull myself back and ask for God's forgiveness right away.

“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 to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

Here, Jesus is telling us to take care of what we need to do to keep our relationship with Him. Again, this doesn't mean we aren't concerned when a friend or loved one is sinning. But the trivial stuff is trivial. If God has called us to donate to a food pantry, and a friend donates to a different charity or doesn't donate to any charity at all, that's between them and God. On the other hand, if God has called us to give to a food pantry and we don't, then we need to address what is keeping us from doing it so we can move forward with that particular task in our calling.

But when we seek and find our own shortcomings, we're likely going to be able to have that mercy and forgiveness towards others that Christ has called us to, which is a better way to deal with them instead of judgments. And here's another thought that I often have. God is the One True Judge. Who am I to take that Divine Action upon myself. God will judge justly. I don't trust myself to do that, because I'm surely not divine.

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

If you've ever tried to help someone by showing them how God wants them to live and discussing the Bible with them only to have them smirk at you, you will know exactly what Jesus is saying here. Those people will judge you by their standards - not God's - and will use the Bible as a weapon against you while not using it to help themselves. This isn't a judgment; this is truth. I know, because someone has done this to me. She acted interested as I discussed new things I discovered in my Bible studies, trying in a non-judgmental way to get her to treat others with respect. She always demanded respect but refused to give it. 

Many people had told me she was evil - including her own son and husband. I thought, at the time they told me this, that was harsh.  And even I knew how quickly she could turn one way or another based on her desires to run people off or to use them to get what she needed. I was her puppet for several years because she ran so many people off with her uncaring and disrespectful actions. She didn't trust the teaching of preachers, because she didn't understand the Bible herself, and she refused to read a Bible that she might be able to understand. Her own father had been a preacher, and she would use that as a weapon if she was accused of acting unfairly or unlovingly. She would tell them not to thump their Bible at her; she was a preacher's daughter. She was always angry and critical, because no one wanted to help her. But she never appreciated their help and would get really nasty with telling them how they weren't living God's Word; although, remember, she confessed that she didn't understand the Word herself. I still don't think she is evil. I do believe her actions are evil though. She believes the devil's lies, which in turn, causes her anger to deepen and her actions to worsen.

A couple of years ago, she threw me out of her life AGAIN. I lost count, but this happened several times over the numerous years of our relationship. She told me that I knew the Bible but didn't live it, because I wouldn't come back into her life after that last time she threw me out. She told me I should have empathy for her husband, but every time I accidentally showed empathy towards him in her presence, she would get so angry with me for expressing concern for him.

God told me it was okay to walk away and stay away this last time. He said He would take care of her and her husband. And He has. This isn't punishment for her; it's supposed to be helping her realize she can't treat others the way she treats them. It's meant to save her soul. God told me that if I kept coming to her "rescue", He couldn't help her learn that her resentful and demeaning treatment of others is wrong. Now, with this separation from her, I can take care of others (including you if you're reading this) who want a good relationship with our Lord and Savior. I'm able to use my time better for God's work. 

stop judging and be the change
image courtesy of Kalei de Leon via Unsplash

So, to finalize, we should try to help others find God and the path He has created for them. But we don't have to make harsh judgments based on our trivial beliefs. We should be more concerned about having right actions than to judge whether others have right actions - if it isn't true sin but only a difference in opinions and calling from God. And if someone isn't accepting your help to have a better relationship with Christ and continually attacks you and others, Jesus said it's okay to turn away from them. He turned away from others on several occasions, because so many people refused to believe Him. So, let Him take care of these people. Because that's a job that only He is capable of. That's way outside our realm of understanding. We can still love and forgive those "difficult" people that God tells us to walk away from. And trust Him to send the right people to help them. 

By not judging others, we respect them, God, and ourselves. And we can be the change we want for those who need to change - if they want to change. Some people think their way is the only way. But others can be swayed to be more useful for Christ, which begins with trusting Him, working through our own faults with His help, and not judging others. Obeying God and loving as He has commanded us to is more help to anyone than any judgment the devil puts into our heads that makes us feel superior to others. Take care, my sweet sisters.

Blessings in Christ,

Patricia

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