Judge Not!

In the very famous sermon on the mount Jesus instructed his followers to “Judge not, that you be not judged.” -Matt 7:1

Love does not judge

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

In the very famous sermon on the mount Jesus instructed his followers to “Judge not, that you be not judged.” -Matt 7:1 I have heard many teachings on this very verse, but all of them have taken it in the context of negative judgement. We have changed it to mean not to judge one another’s faults, but judging goes both ways. Perhaps this error in interpretation may come from some of the other teachings in Matthew 7. For example Matt 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the Prophets.” It gives us the idea that it is okay to pass positive judgement on someone because it is how we would want to be treated.
I also think it may have something to do with Luke 6:which seems to extend the teaching “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;” However, to me this brings judging to a different light than condemning, judging in a negative context is condemning, so why list them both? Unless judging here is also meant in the positive.
I have a story about judging others that taught me a lesson about judging in general. I had a friend that was accused of a crime and the charges were posted on Facebook. I felt like the crime was completely out of character for my friend, because I had judge him to be of good character. He was also friendly with everyone and never seemed to cause a problem. He attended church, volunteered for service, was always willing to give a helping hand and children loved to hang out with him during events. He was accused of a sexual crime against a child.
I immediately jumped on to the post to defend his character, for I had judge him in a positive light. I assumed the charges to be false, and needless to say, I was wrong in my judgement and quickly corrected by several people who had experienced first hand issues with him in a different setting. This resulted in me being judge for defending this “pedophile”. To the point that one of the people on the comment thread accused me of being the same.
Let’s just say I learned an important lesson that day. I will not go into any more details on the crime, the family or the man. I just wanted to point out that Jesus was trying hard to protect us from being judged by giving us a very solid piece of advise. You see we cannot know the heart of another person, so we should not judge their heart or intentions for good or evil, because we can and many times will be wrong and the result is being judged ourselves.

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