Matthew 7:1-5 NIV
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “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? 4 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? 5 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.
First of all, let us be clear that Jesus is NOT saying that we are NOT to recognize sin, or hate sin, or when needed and necessary, point out the sin to another.
As a child of God, we are to avoid sin and associations that can lead to sin, but we are also to know what is evil and what is not.
Matthew 7:6 makes it clear that we are to differentiate good and evil.
Matthew 7:6 NIV
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 turn and tear you to pieces.
Getting back to the parable “do not judge, or you too will be judged”, let us look a bit deeper.
Unfortunately, this parable contains the “go to” verses for people when their sin is addressed or pointed out…”you are not supposed to judge” is the customary retort. Satan uses this verse, causing people to use it as not only an excuse, but a shield for their sinful life.
So, what are we believers to do?
Jesus certainly didn’t mean that we are to not talk to a loved one, brother or sister who stumbles into sin.
Matthew 18:15 NIV
15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.
However, when talking to a child, relative or other person about sin in their life, it must be done with humility, sincerity and compassion. Not out of superiority.
There must be no hint of self-righteousness, prejudice, or condemnation. Just the Word of God and mercy in our heart, displaying the love, grace and mercy of our Father in heaven.
Sometimes when a person accepts Christ and becomes a new person, Satan slips in an “air of superiority” or feeling of moral superiority to others, especially those living in sin. This attitude certainly does not come from Christ and will lead an individual to have judgmental attitudes toward other people.
As with many other situations, this is exactly where Satan wants us. This is an attribute of the Pharisees, who thought they were better than anyone else, because of their “righteousness.” Their “self-righteousness.”
Jesus, however, teaches us to not look down upon others and to not think we are better than anyone else in any way.
In this parable, He uses the examples of a speck and a log metaphorically, to teach us a lesson.
How can we be judgmental of someone living in sin, if we have sin, or even greater sin in our own life?
In short, we cannot.
Cartoons, sometimes say things best;
No matter what we do in our life, even pointing out sin to another, we must treat everyone as Jesus would treat them, with the same love of Jesus…in ALL of our situations.
Jesus warns us about being judgmental, with a self-righteous attitude. We certainly can and should be aware of what we are seeing around us, but we must avoid even the appearance of being judgmental in a superior way.
As a child of God, we are to avoid sin and associations that can lead to sin. Some might say that this in itself is being judgmental, but it is not. We are to be aware of what is around us and we are instructed to avoid those things that might lead us into sin.
Obviously, there are people who we do not want to associate with because of the sinful nature of their lives. There is nothing wrong with this and Jesus tells us to exhibit discretion in this area.
Matthew 10:11-15 NIV
11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
ALWAYS LOOK INWARD, BEFORE PROFESSING OUTWARDLY
One human trait that Satan uses, is to find fault and inconsistency in others. This is much easier than looking in the mirror to see the error of our ways, or the sins in our life.
In other words, we see the speck of sawdust in another’s eye, but fail to see the plank or log in our own.
Remember, we are all saved by grace and our goal must be that the sinner finds this love and grace in their own life.
In closing, let us read the words of the Apostle Paul;
Galatians 6:1-2 NIV
1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.