DO NOT JUDGE
“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, 2.
As we go along, Jesus’ yoke seems to get tougher, doesn’t it? This one is not easy for us to follow because we often compare others with ourselves or some person we admire.
God is absolutely just. Jesus said that He would use the same measure that we use for others to measure us. Now that’s fair, isn’t it? We cannot use one measure for ourselves and another measure for someone else. That’s the first problem and the second one is that the measure we use is usually some imperfect person, and mostly ourselves.
Jesus told a story about two men who went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee was a very religious man whose prayer was nothing but a comparison between himself and the tax collector. He was satisfied with himself because he was for more religious than the tax collector. The tax collector, on the other hand, asked God for mercy because, when he compared himself with God, he realised that he needed mercy.
Jesus asked his hearers, “Which prayer do you think God answered?” Of course, the tax collector’s! The Pharisee’s prayer was not even a prayer. He was doing nothing but congratulating himself on how good he thought he was, and God had nothing to say to him.
Jesus said that the person who judges others by his own standard is a hypocrite. He can see the faults of others very clearly, but he looks right past his own. The problem is that, by his very attitude of contempt for others, he is far guiltier of sin than the person he is judging.
Have you noticed how much Jesus hated the attitude of people who thought they were better than others? He did not come down as hard on adulterers and tax collectors as He did on the Pharisees and religious leaders.
Those who were regarded as “sinners” by the religious people did not hide their sinfulness behind a “holy” cloak. They did not pretend to be what they were not. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were greedy for money and power and they controlled people by putting on a religious “front”. Underneath, however, they were as full of wickedness as the rest, as much as they tried to hide it by showing everyone how good they were by keeping the law.
God is far more concerned about how honest we are than about how good we are. He knows that we are imperfect and that we fail. It is far better to be humble and admit when we do wrong than to cover it up by pretending to be righteous and behaving badly where no one can see us or judging other people in our hearts when we are just like they are and even worse.
If we keep looking at Jesus, we will not be tempted to think we are better than others. How blessed we are to know that, when God looks at us, He sees Jesus because, if we believe in Him and follow Him faithfully, we are forgiven, washed clean, accepted “in Christ” and covered by His righteousness!
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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