Jesus warns us not to judge others. The measure we use to judge another is the measure used to judge us. Jesus warns us not to seek out the mote in the eye of another while ignoring the beam in our own eye. Besides, the beam in our eye naturally prevents a clear view of the mote we think we see in the other person’s eye.
The hypocrite, says Jesus, believes he is without fault and so qualified to remove the mote from the sight of his brother. Jesus says to the hypocrite, “You’ve got to remove that beam from your own eye before you can possibly recognize much less remove the mote from your brother’s eye!”
And what is that beam in your eye? Perhaps self-righteousness – also known as spiritual pride – is the biggest, most destructive beam that can lodge itself in our eye. Removing it is a task best left to God, the Holy Spirit. Ask Him; He is fully capable and willing to remove that big plank that gets in His way!
Jesus tells us, “Pass no judgment, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; acquit, and you will be acquitted; give, and gifts will be given you.” (Luke 6:37-38)
Paul, in his letter to the church at Ephesus, reminds that at one time all of us “were dead in [our] sins and wickedness, when [we] followed the evil ways of this present age, when [we] obeyed the commander of the spiritual powers of the air, the spirit now at work among God’s rebel subjects.” (Ephesians 2:1-2) “We too were once of their number: we all lived our lives in sensuality, and obeyed the promptings of our own instincts and notions. In our natural condition we, like the rest, lay under the dreadful judgment of God” (Ephesians 2:3)
Of course, the gift we have received is that of God’s grace: His rich mercy, His great love. Paul encourages us; reminding “how immense are the resources of His grace, and how great His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7-8) “For [Christ] Himself is our peace.” (Ephesians 2:14) Of course,”there is nothing for anyone to boast of” (Ephesians 2:10) because our salvation “is God’s gift, not a reward for work done.” (Ephesians 2:9) “For we are God’s handiwork.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Since we are God’s handiwork and not rewarded our salvation for works performed, we have cause neither to boast nor to judge others. We are not qualified to judge others for we ourselves were once of their company. We cannot boast for we also were lost in our sins, separated from God, dead in our condition. “But God, rich in mercy, for the great love He bore us, brought us to life with Christ even when we were dead in our sins; it is by grace [we] are saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Therefore, judge not. Neither boast, except of the Lord.
One of the most difficult aspects of the Christian walk is refraining from judging others. Paul states that he does not even judge himself; he puts that ‘on hold’ until the coming of the Lord Jesus at which time all men are to be judged by the One True Judge, even God Himself. Until then, we are called to “judge not” by Jesus Christ and by His apostle, Paul.
Paul challenges us to recognize that we are not qualified to judge ourselves or one another. “For when [we] judge another, [we] condemn [ourselves], since [we], the judges, do the same things.” When we set up ourselves as judges, we are actually judging the Law and the Lawgiver, who is God. Who are we to judge the law and the One True Judge?
“You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?” (Romans 2: 23) If you claim that you do not break the law and so you are qualified to judge others, you are both lying to yourself and to God. (1 John 1: 8)
“Now we know that whatever the law says speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may be subject to God’s judgment. For no one is justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.” (Romans 3: 19 – 20)
Recognize sin in yourselves — and of course in others — but realize that Jesus died so that we are not judged or judging, but are rather set free from the law of sin and death.
“The one who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.” (1 John 2: 10)