Judging Appropriately?

Matt 7:1-6


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.

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.


This passage used to be used against people who proclaimed a standard of truth and called the behavior not in accordance with the truth as sin. And it was used against folks who supported the truth without love and mercy as well. Judge not, like we are not to make judgements about anything. Well, we will see that that is not an appropriate understanding of this passage, from this passage! And we will see that in life that we have to make judgements. If there is such a thing as truth, then all else is error and the process by which we decide the case is a judgement. God is the judge, He will always keep that role. We are not able to look into someone’s heart. Parable of the Wheat and Weeds.


Secondly, we will see two very clear issues that come up in judging things that need to be guarded against carefully. The first is that the idea that we need to judge ourselves is a much, much higher principle in life. And secondly, all judging is to be according to God’s standard. The Bible is called the Canon of Scripture. A Canon is not a weapon for shooting others. It is a measuring rod. We use God’s standard of measurement in order to get to the heart of what life is about.



  1. Judging Evaluating and Condemning


A part of the problem is that we use the word “judge” in different         ways.

  • You can go to court, be judged and lose your life.
  • You can make a purchase on amazon and rate your experience. They are both judgements!
  • You can go to your closet and decide to get rid of clothes or decide what clothes to wear.
  • In college you decide what classes to take and what subject matter to major in. These are all judgements.
  • We can decide that someone should be condemned by God and people. And we shun them.


  1. We make judgements all of the time


        To say that we should not judge: that is a judgement


        To say that someone else has judged another and to make the         claim that it is inappropriate: that is a judgement.


Focus instead on the standard by which we measure. In the way that you judge, you will be judged:


There is a sense in which this is similar to Jesus saying that if we do     not forgive others, we will not be forgiven.


This is in line with the exhortation that says we are to be merciful as    our Father in heaven is merciful.


Our goal in life is not to judge others, but to love others. But, we still         must make judgements!


Think about it like kids or family members. Behavior can be decidedly   and clearly bad. But we do not reject them typically. It will be worse   for children especially if we do not judge their behavior and discipline     them to the right path.


  1. We are told to make judgements

Ephesians 4: Put off, be renewed, put on.


But before that we have had to judge some things: Eph 4:

you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.


Darkened in understanding, ignorant, hard hearted. These are descriptions of reasons why one would judge poorly! And they are themselves judged.


I John 2:15-17

Do not love the world. We judge what is love and what is the world.




  1. We are not to condemn others

v.2 “In the way that you judge others you will be judged.” Do you believe that?


John 3:17-19 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.      


This is falling in line with what Jesus said about murder in chapter 5. We must recognize and respect the image of God in people. Behavior does not determine value!


In the Book of Revelation, it is clear that God’s judgement of sin is meant to bring people to repentance. That is God’s heart for people. He poured condemnation out on Jesus so that we might have no condemnation left for us! If that is His desire, we need to embrace that as well. Tax collectors, Roman soldiers, Roman governors etc. Surely they deserve condemnation! We all do, let’s pray for repentance. It is the only way forward for everyone.


And when God decides to condemn, there is no further discussion. God acts as He wills with no opposition.


So, no condemning others, and be aware that God has an appropriate standard that all will be held accountable to!


The next main thing that I see here about judging is a call to…


  1. Work on Yourself


How can you see a speck of sawdust when you have a log in your eye? And why would someone come to you for help?!


  1. We are prone to blindness


        Assume other people see things that you don’t see!


Every person’s way is right in his own eyes, But         the Lord examines the hearts.  Proverbs 21:2


The heart is deceitful above all else and desperately wicked!


       12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.


14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


It is really annoying for people who don’t have permission from you to point out things in your life that they consider to be sinful. I would recommend we don’t do that very often. And you should only do it with permission.


Now, people often warn me about the way that I communicate things up here in the pulpit. I welcome that from them, but I will take their “advice” as just that. Blind spots are not helpful!!


  1. Adam and Eve

        Did you eat from the tree?


What did you do?


        They might say, “Don’t judge me…”


In a permanent relationship, you only have control of yourself! Whenever I talk with people who are having difficulty with relationships, it is the most natural thing to point out the behavior of the other person.


Cain and Abel are an extreme example. God told Cain to manage his sin urges and he killed his brother instead.



  1. Are we acting in love?


Love is acting in the best interests of someone.

Speak the truth in love. To not speak the truth? Well, there are times that it’s a pearls before swine thing!




III. Pearls before Swine


It seems to me that we have moved into different territory here. We are defining people as unclean and unholy. That is the swine part. I believe that this is a rare occurrence.


  1. Someone is unclean and unholy


Bonhoeffer said that there are people to whom you do not owe      the truth. What is the higher calling? What is the expression of love that demonstrates the nature and character of God?


In Jesus’ own ministry we see Him withhold information from the Jewish leadership. He does this in order to avoid trouble with them, and He also does it because they are rejecting what He is doing and saying anyway.


If we are to apply this to the Jewish leaders then Jesus is calling them unclean and unholy pigs that will turn and attack you. This is how they proved themselves in His life.



  1. Some are false prophets

Looking ahead to future verses:


15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them.




  1. We must use God’s standards


21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.


Parable of the wheat the tares:

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”


        Narrow gate, not a matter of words, but faith and obedience.


        13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


            21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.


Jesus is God’s Word to us.

He is the standard by which we will be judged. And He is the One who can save us from our sin! John 14:6

I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me!


        Jesus Only!!!!

        Jesus is the Way to God

        Jesus is the Truth about God

        Jesus is the giver of the Life of God


So, the lesson here is this: We are to be working on ourselves primarily, the sin that we see in others is often the sin that we have in ourselves and if it’s in us, then that is where we start.


We are not to condemn others. We are not to withhold the honor of the image of God that God has given them. It is that very image that will judge them, they are responsible for it. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.


As we make judgements without condemning others, we must use Jesus as God’s standard. He is the lens that allows us to interpret the Old Testament correctly, He is the Word of God. And Jesus has not come to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved!