“Judge Not, Lest You Be Judged”

These words from the sermon on the Mount (Matt. 7:1-5) turn out to be some of the most famous words Jesus said, but unfortunately not always for the right reasons. These words are often used as a bludgeon against those who are raising concerns about objectionable or sinful conduct. These is obviously a misuse, since some judgement is required as we go through life. 

While this passage is commonly misused, it does have a true use and Jesus’ words are to be carefully considered for what they do mean, not just what they do not. The lesson here is to judge fairly, rightly, and with a generous spirit since that is how we will be judged as well.  The whole teaching of Jesus on the sermon on the mount is to be generous in our giving and helping of others, and our treatment of them even if they are different from us or have done us harm. 

This generosity of spirit is to extend to the way that we judge them as well. Think of how unfair it is the judge people based on standards that they do not know, or to excuse our friends and family (and especially ourselves) but to never excuse faults in others. The Pharisees were especially known for finding all faults in others but never finding faults in themselves. Or, as Jesus brings up with the log (beam) and the speck, making much of small faults in others while overlooking large faults in those that we favor. 

“The commandment is leveled at rash, censorious and uncharitable judgments, and that fault-finding spirit or disposition which condemns upon surmise without examination…forgetful that we also shall stand in the judgment and shall need mercy.  (McGarvey, Fourfold Gospel.”)


More Blessed To Give Than Receive

Acts 20:33-35“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34“You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me.35“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Worldly minded people seldom understand the spiritual words of the Savior, and none are more misunderstood or maligned than the word’s that Paul reminds us of here. 

We don’t know when Jesus spoke these words since they are not recorded or referenced in the gospels. We only know that His inspired apostle attests to these words, and used them to teach the church the proper view of material things: Sharing, not coveting and hoarding.

It is more blessed to give than to receive because Christians view life and possessions are as things to do good with, not to seek for the accumulation or use of them for our own pleasures.

It is more blessed to give than receive because the spiritual is more important than the material. 

It is more blessed to give than to receive because the ability to give means that we have been first blessed to have enough of something to share.

It is more blessed to give than to receive because we follow the example and pattern of the Father. 

Let us seek every opportunity to give important things, both physical and spiritualIt is the blessed way.