“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Matthew 7:1
I hear that scripture a lot. Especially in the areas where sin is most prevalent. If we are not to judge people in the way that most people
mis interpret Matthew 7:1, then what are we to do with the following scriptures?
“Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.”
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.
So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.
…hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
Rebuke? Guilt? How will we know when to rebuke the guilty unless we make a judgment?
False? Good tree? Bad tree? Good fruit? Bad fruit? By their fruit you will recognize them? Doesn’t all of these things require a judgment to be made?
Dogs? Pigs? Isn’t that judging a person’s character?
“Point out their fault?” But isn’t that judging a person’s actions?
“Rebuke them?” But isn’t that judging a person?
“forgive?” But doesn’t that require a judgment call?
“Reject evil?” That takes judgment.
Should we just throw those scriptures out of the Bible, or ignore them?
How do we know what is good and what is evil? What is sin and what is not? What is good fruit and what is bad fruit? What is false and what is true?
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
I heard a quote not too long ago on the misappropriation of the,”Judge not, lest you be judged” scripture and it went something like this.
“You say, ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ But I say, ‘Twist not Scripture lest ye be like Satan.’” – Unknown
Because “Judge not lest ye be judged” is the single most misquoted scripture in the Bible it is imperative in the life of a Christian to find out the context of that verse and to study God’s word diligently to find out exactly who Jesus was talking to when he said that, and to find out why He said that.
Jesus, so many people have you wrong. They don’t understand. Give those who do not understand right understanding. I believe our country and world is in the shape it is because of not only the misunderstanding of this scripture, but of the sin of not carrying out your command to rebuke those who are sinning, not to mention just plain old Bible illiteracy.
And Lord, let me consider a rebuke from a brother as a kiss on a cheek if I am caught or trapped in a sin and need to be told. May others always feel the same if I am ever called to rebuke them. May scripture always be our sound authority by which we make all of our decisions and judgments. In Jesus name, Amen.