March 29, 2023: Judge Not, Unless
"Do not judge unless you want to be judged.” Mt 7:1
If you have been a Christian for a while, I am sure you have heard someone say these words in a judgmental way: "Do not judge unless you want to be judged." Perhaps you have said them yourself.
We know two things for sure when we read these words in Matthew 7:1. These words were not scripture to arm sinners so they could attack Christians. But they were scripture to arm Christians, so they would not attack others.
Judging is not a negative thing. We have to judge whether something is right or wrong for us to do. We must judge whether we will participate in what others are doing or avoid it. Judging has to do with making right choices. What makes judging bad? Why did Jesus bring it to our attention? Three things can sum up what Jesus was after—He did not want us to be critical; He did not want us to be judgmental; He did not want us to be arrogant. And, He did not want us to attack others with our spirituality.
Criticalness involves fault-finding in others because we see ourselves as better than them. Judgmental has to do with us being both judge and jury, meaning we judge and then condemn. Arrogance has to do with presenting ourselves in a 'self-righteous' way.
The best way to keep ourselves from becoming judgmental is to love. It's golden! "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." Mt 7:12 NL
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