THOSE WHO JUDGE GET JUDGED
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1
Judging is deciding about people. It’s not just giving the verdict of innocent or guilty. It can also be a way of putting people into categories: clean or unclean, in or out, righteous or unrighteous, saved or lost. Even specific labels we put on people like, “He’s a jerk” or “She’s conceited” are ways of judging others. Seemingly harmless judging like deciding what people are thinking or what their motives are are all ways we play judge.
Jesus says to stop it. It’s not our job and it doesn’t get us anywhere good. Since we can’t fix people, why do we need to diagnose them? All judging does is boomerang back at us. If we judge people, they will judge us. It just works that way. If I measure everything in terms of who is right or wrong, smart or stupid, good or bad, other people will judge me that way. Judgers get judged.
Besides that, it just doesn’t work. The very act of having a judgement blocks us from really seeing people at all.
Judging blocks my ability to see
That’s the point of the whole “plank in the eye” thing. It’s not that once we deal with our own problems, then we can fix other people. It’s that my prejudgements (prejudices) keep me from seeing anything clearly and I only end up hurting the people I want to help!
Judgement is a plank in your eye. When you’ve already made up your mind about what people are like and how they are and what their problem is and what they’re thinking and what their motives are, you can’t see clearly. This clouds your judgment. It blocks your ability to actually see to do anything helpful.
If instead we can be open and respectful (Jesus is going to show us how to do this in the next part!), we can take the plank out of our own eye so that we can love others in a way that really helps them. I hope you will join us Sunday.