“When we judge others, it will come back to us in the same way and with the same weight. How do you want to be judged by others and by God?” (Pastor Richard)
Do you ever feel judged? In today’s world, it’s common to feel the weight of judgment in everything from the clothes we wear to the way we talk and the type of lifestyle we lead. Moreover, it’s all too easy to have a quick heart of our own! Many times we guise our judgment in spiritual terms: sharing gossip as “prayer requests” and masking negative attitudes as “discerning” or “realism”.
The tendency to judge one another isn’t new to the 21st century; it’s a heart attitude that has pervaded all of history. As we continue the #FollowJesus sermon series, Pastor Richard delves into the topic of Judging and unpacks the words of Jesus in Matthew 7 in which Jesus issues some of his sternest warnings to those who harbor judgmental attitudes.
Matthew 7:1-3 says: 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. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye.
Jesus’ words are very clear: When we judge others, it will come back to us in the same way and with the same weight. This begs the question, how do we want to be judged by others and by God?
The word “judgment” literally means “to condemn” or “to pass a verdict.” Jesus is very clear in his teaching, “don’t let the outward standards be the basis for how you judge a person’s spirituality.” He goes on to use exaggeration to hammer home his point when he essentially says: why are you worrying about a speck of sawdust in your neighbor’s eye when you have a 2x4 hanging out of your head???
So if we are never to judge…how are we to confront harmful behaviors and attitudes in the lives of our friends and loved ones? The answer is simple. Jesus teaches us to deal with our own stuff before confronting others. In fact, when you come to terms with the sin in your own life, it makes you a perfect candidate to address the sin in someone else’s life. However, even in confrontation…be wise!
“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 then turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)
The implication is clear…in the midst of hostility and ridicule, don’t waste your time with those who are against you—keep going where people are open and receptive.
In John 13:1-11, Jesus models for us how we are to engage with one another and the world around us: in the posture of a servant. As he washes his disciples feet, he shows us that it’s much more profitable to wash dirty feet than to expose them as dirty. In fact, it’s impossible to look down on someone when you’re washing their feet! Jesus teaches us to not judge someone’s outward appearance or inward motives…instead we are to be their servant.
At FBC McKinney, we are a church situated on the doorstep of a fast growing community. People are moving to McKinney from all over the nation and world! As our community grows, we must be mindful not to judge those who look, talk, worship or believe differently than we do. The church of this next generation has to do some major adjusting to connect with people and earn the right for a hearing about the Gospel of Jesus.
The implications of Jesus’ teachings are clear: as believers we are not to back down from confronting evil in our world, but we are to do so in love, humility and with an attitude of prayer. It’s easy to quickly attack the faults in our society and neighbors, families and friends…but God is calling us to understand the real need and intercede for someone who is unable to see it for themselves.