Judge Not

Matthew 7, verses 1-12, can be summed up as living with a generous spirit, just as God does for us. The teaching about this kind of life concludes with the “Golden Rule.” The golden rule can never be followed, can never really be applied to our lives, with us giving off a judgmental attitude to those around us. 

We know that there is righteous judgment. (In civil settings, 2 Pet. 2:13,14; in resolving personal conflicts, 1 Cor. 6:1-6; in examining religious teaching and conduct, 1 Jn. 4:1; Tit. 3:9-11, etc.).  While good judgment is a positive and necessary virtue, a judgmental attitude exudes self-righteousness and slightest whiff of it can drive many away. Yes, some people are easily offended, but recognizing their fault is not license for us to be less concerned about being offensive. This should cause us to realize of the careful, caring work we are called to do. 

“Righteous judgment” NEVER includes judgmental attitude, otherwise it ceases to be “righteous.” This is one of the easiest ways for us to turn people off of Christianity and the cause which we wish to honor and promote. People are often more forgiving of wrongs and harms done to their things and their interests than they are of being held in contempt since one involves their property and the other involves their pride, which many hold most dearly of all. 

Sometimes our call to follow Jesus causes the world to hate us (Jn. 15:18,19). But let us never act in such a way that people hate Jesus because of us as they think our poor conduct and attitudes towards them result from our devotion to Him.  True devotion to Jesus includes the love of neighbor that He teaches and the patient and tender manner with which he dealt with those in sin and taught them to come to God.