One of the most misunderstood and misapplied scriptures spoken by our Lord and King Jesus is:
Matthew 7.1-2: Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Christians and non-Christians routinely use or quote verse 1 without any context or association with the remainder of what Christ said in verse 2 and beyond.
Judging is a part of life. One can hardly make a decision without judging. When options are weighed and a decision is made, a judgment has occurred.
We judge whether a foul took place in a basketball game; we judge who is more beautiful in a contest; we judge which place has the best fried chicken; we judge which president we think will lead the country in the right directions according to how we judge right.
Jurors meet to make a judgment; judges are paid by the state to judge.
Christians can judge and must judge; however, they must judge in a manner that they would want others to use upon themselves. Look at verse 2: For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Or “and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
To judge that abortion isn’t right is not wrong or a sin; unless one wishes to judge others guilty while keeping abortion an option open for themselves in the event a pregnancy must be terminated.
To judge that a purchase was frivolous is not wrong provided the person making the judgment is willing to accept that others may decide what they buy is also frivolous. I cannot be the type of person who judges other’s purchases and then takes offense when someone judges what I buy.
If I am the type who would say purchasing more than one TV is a waste of God’s money; I must live with one television or be prepared to be called a hypocrite when I buy a second TV. (Or admit that I was wrong in the past.)
To state that everyone outside of Christianity is wrong and bound for hell is a judgment. But it is a judgment that I am willing to have applied to myself. In other words, you may measure my eternal destiny by the same standard. In fact, I would encourage you to do so because I base my hope for heaven upon the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary and not something I obtain because of my righteous acts.
To judge that divorce is wrong means that when I divorce someone you may say that I am just as wrong as when I declared divorce to be wrong.
In verse 6, Jesus tells us not to give “that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
Could someone please tell me how I can obey verse 6 and not judge between a dog and pig?
When Jesus sent the apostles out to preach the good news he told them to be wise as serpents. Why would they need wisdom if they were not going to be judging?
Psalms 2.10 tells judges of the earth to be wise. Paul chastises the church at Corinth because they were going to unregenerate judges to solve issues instead of finding someone in the church who could judge a matter (1 Corinthians 6).
Don’t buy into this lie that Christians aren’t supposed to judge. Instead, seek to honor God in the manner in which you judge when it is required.
According to John 7.24 what we need to do is avoid judging by appearance only, but we must strive to judge righteously.