The sermon on the Mount has always been a portion of the scriptures in which the Lord Jesus Christ covers every aspect of life and living. From how to handle money, relationships, spiritual life, our testimony and how to walk uprightly. The list goes on and I highly recommend you take time to read these chapters. (Matthew 5-7)
In this article I would like to look at a few verses which are found in the beginning of Matthew chapter 7. They say the following:
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.
Before we begin let me say that quite often I find my own heart to be judgmental of others. I often will jump to conclusions and speak before I know all the details. I have a friend of mine who often has told me “be curious” when you come into any situation. This means, ask questions with pure intent as to be able to discern in any given situation.
These verses are here to assist us. All of us are guilty at some time in our lives of being judgmental, it is only by God’s gracious help that we can overcome the temptation of judging others unnecessarily.
Other versions of this passage begins with the “Hypocrite”. That is a strong word but it certainly conveys the seriousness of this issue. This word is used in verse 5.
First of all we must realize that the Lord Jesus was addressing the Pharisees and their practice of judging others when they themselves were guilty of the very things they judged. They were also specifically judging the Lord Jesus because He had not promised the kind of kingdom they were searching for. They found Him to be inadequate and the Pharisees were looking for someone that would support their religious perspective, not challenge it.
Secondly, the scripture here does not say that we should not judge. In fact it specifies in the end of verse 5 that we are permitted to remove “speck in our brothers eye”. Many, including myself have swung to the point where we don’t say anything to people because we don’t want to judge or be considered judgmental people. I believe this passage is for both sides of the issue.
The main message is clear. Before we proceed with correcting another individual, we are to search our own lives to see if we have something that is as great or a greater sin that is hindering us.
I suggest there are three things we can do to help us in this process.
Go to God first and fix your own issue first - Psalm 139:23-24 says: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Use God’s word as the standard and guide to address issues. Do not rely just on your own opinion. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Have the right attitude as you approach any situation - Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
By: David Jones