(Matthew 7:1 KJV)Everyone and their brother uses this verse to, for the most part, slam those who defend the conduct required by the Bible. Even those who do not believe in Yahweh (Jesus), Creator of Heaven and Earth and the True Word Who founded Christianity throw those precious words around. Of all the misused and misdirected Bible verses in the world, this seven words are the most well known. It is also somewhat amusing that the King James bible is the version use to misquote this verse, as an aside.
But what does it mean? Well, first of all, it means we ALL have to be very careful. This issue here is NOT of of Judgment but of Hypocrisy. We do this many times a day "judge not...." Every single time we make a decision to do or not do something, we make a judgment call. We choose not to drive into heavy traffic, if avoidable and try to find a side street to go around it. We choose to not eat that triple cheese steak burger at the local diner, because combine that with chocolate milk shake, the deal is over 2000 calories. We choose not to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, unless we're in the 82nd Airborne Division. We even make a judgment call at the car dealership while car shopping, or retail or eyeglass store...and on and on.
There is NOTHING wrong with making the right call. This is precisely what Jesus is talking about here in His great Sermon on the Mount, which even politicians like to misquote. Here is the full context where "judge not less ye be judged" came from:
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
So we have established that life involves a process of right choices or judgment. But what everyone under sun - Christian or not - should not be is a hypocrite. Instinctively, if we have a working conscience, we know when we are speaking out of both sides of our mouths. We expect what with the usual suspects - politicians, some auto sales and financial services salesmen (obviously not all of them). But if we are not alert, we can fall into the same trap.
Jesus Himself gave the answer to what He means about judging someone else. At the start of verse 5 here, He states "You hypocrite, take the log out of your won eye....." literally, before calling another person out on the same thing!
Are you looking at things on the internet which you should not be looking at? Are you secretly stashing alcohol or cigarettes while telling others that it is wrong to do so?
Are you appearing to walk the talk as a "moral Christian" on Sunday morning with your mask on, while cussing up a blue streak and joining in the secular dirty joke crowd from Monday-Friday?
Are you fudging on your taxes or not giving God the First Fruits of your labor (10% towards God's Work off the gross income you make)?
Are you a man or woman of integrity?
Are you the same person at home, in front of your spouse and/or child, that you appear to be in public?
Someone once said that integrity is doing the same thing in private that you and I do when no one is looking. It is always so much better for us to err on the side of caution and going the extra step to provide a margin and give ourselves a cushion. More importantly, it is so much better to not provide a mocking world an easy target for them to call us "hypocrites", while they accuse of trying to judge their conduct. So, my friends, let's walk the talk, and as Jesus said later in - "make a right judgment".
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