“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Give not 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. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:1-12).
In this part of His sermon, the Lord Jesus Christ describes what the most common hindrances to holiness are, and reveals the way in which they are overcome.
Here we have a warning against vengeful judgement. If we make such judgements against others then we are determining what manner of judgement we will receive in the last day.
Opportunities to judge others present themselves to us on a daily basis, and we may even consider ourselves wise and spiritual while passing out such judgements. We fail to realise that this can cause the fall of another child of God. Also, the unsaved may be hindered from coming to Christ because of this evil. Is it not true that they can often see the sins of the church more clearly than ourselves? We are so busy searching out our neighbour’s faults to recognise our own.
What kind of judgement does the Lord forbid? We may suppose He is referring to slander, but there is more to it than that. The Lord is condemning merciless judgement both in word and in thought. Any kind of judgement which is contrary to Christian love is evil in the Lord’s sight. Here are two examples:-
1) Saying someone is guilty when they are not. This reveals the desire to see and present others in the worst possible light, only to make ourselves appear holier than they are. This includes judging someone else’s intentions even though we have no proof to back up what we say or think.
2) Condemning the guilty to a higher degree than they deserve. This is offensive to God’s justice and mercy. This is seen when we convince ourselves that the person in question is totally incapable of doing good or following the Lord.
Love does not assume the worst in people, and it refuses to spread bitterness and hatred by speaking evil of them.
The mote and the beam
Yes, we notice the minor faults of others but fail to see the abominations in our own lives. We claim that we know that Christ can deliver man from all of his bondages, yet somehow we cannot feel the satanic chains upon ourselves. Is this not playing the hypocrite? We pretend to be zealous for holiness while in reality we neither love or honour God.
In trying to help another overcome his faults we may find that we will come off the worse. There are those in the church who will never recognise what true holiness is and so will be offended if you try to show them. Pigs, no matter how thoroughly we wash them, will always return to the mire. So avoid unenlightened zeal. We need the guidance of God to know when to interfere in someone’s life. Pearls of wisdom will never heighten their standing.
How to deal with this hindrance
1. See ourselves as we really are. The first step is to acknowledge just how sinful, corrupt, and wicked our sins are in the eyes of God. This is when the Holy Spirit will remove the beams out of our eyes.
2. Stop being careless and indifferent about our own state before God.
3. Instead of judging why not pray. We can pray for those who refuse to listen to us. We can pray for those we consider the most hopeless. God’s promises stand firm, therefore all we need to do is believe and pray. Would we not rather have others pray for us than spreading evil?
If Christian love exists within us we will love, respect and deal with others mercifully instead of slandering them. This is a part of what is meant by loving our neighbour. If we are to live by this rule we must first love God, then not only will we abstain from everything which is contrary to love, such as every unkind thought, word and deed. Then we will bestow kindness on others, just as we desire them to do towards us.