“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see 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,’ when there is the log 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. “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”
Matthew 7:1–6, ESV
How often do we hear people tell us that we should not judge another when we point out things that are off in his or her life? This is one of the most misquoted lines in Scripture. What Jesus is pointing out is the difference between discernment and wanting to build yourself up at the expense of another. We shouldn’t look down at another, this is true, but we are to discern between what we know to be Godly behavior and ungodly behavior. We are meant to look first at how we are speaking and then we can address the negative behavior. We are not to look at them in disdain but seek to guide them away while not falling into the same behavior. If one doesn’t believe and is unwilling to listen, we are not to engage in negative behavior and respond in kind. If they don’t wish to hear the Gospel, we can let them be and walk away. Their judgment is already cast because they have refused God and have established for themselves their idols. To respond to the goads and sneers doesn’t help draw them nearer, but we are called just to pray and let them go. Our hope is not for them to be lost, but while they stand in rebellion, there is no hope to give them in the Words of Christ. In our prayers, we pray for them in the hopes that they will turn away and know Christ’s peace. We don’t walk in judgment of them, but we walk in prayer that they do not meet the fate that we know we deserve outside of Christ. Let their own words judge them and hope that they come to know peace.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.