James H. Cagle
The Bible says, “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” (Mt.7 : 1-5).
Of all Scripture, this portion, especially verse one, has been misconstrued more than any other, and is used by people who prohibit all forms of judgment.
We’re living in a time when most people, including professing Christians, do not examine and judge themselves. If a person is going to judge themselves, they must have a standard to use as a comparison.
Instead of using Jesus as our standard in judgment, which is what will be used on Judgment Day, we compare ourselves with our peers. This, according to Paul is not a wise thing to do (2 Cor. 10: 12). If we are to be better than the crowd, we must judge ourselves by something or someone outside the crowd and that someone is Jesus.
But, not only are we to judge ourselves we are to judge all things. Jesus called Himself and the Bible (KJV) the “Truth” (Jn.14: 6, 17: 17). God gave us the Truth so we can judge all things by the Truth to see if they are true.
In judgment we obviously cannot judge a persons thoughts or motives. But once they speak or act their words and actions are the property of public domain and they will be judged, whether they like it or not.
Before we judge others though we should judge ourselves. And after we’ve judged ourselves and removed any beam we might have in our eye, we can judge our brother and help him to remove his mote out of his eye.
We are to judge people and things and events and situations. And we do whether we admit it or not. That person that wants us to think they’re more kind and charitable because they say they do not judge others, is not being honest. They have judged others and consider themselves better than them.
We judge people to see if we want them as our friend (Ps. 119: 63). We judge candidates for political office and church office to see if they meet the qualifications for office (2 Sam. 23: 1-4; 1 Tim. 3, Titus 1: 6-9). Church members are to judge and discipline other church members of serious sin if they do not judge themselves and repent of their sin (Mt. 18: 17; 1 Cor. 5: 9-13). We are to judge the doctrinal teaching of teachers and preachers by the Word of God (Mt. 7: 15-20, Acts 17: 11; 1 Cor. 14: 29; 1 Jn. 4: 1). In settling matters between brethren the church members were to judge the matter (1Cor. 6: 2-5). Christian will one day “judge the world” (1 Cor. 6: 2).
God has given us the faculty of discernment and we are never called to abandon it, but rather to improve upon it (Heb. 5: 14), and use it to discriminate between good and evil and decide for the good. We judge people and things in order to make the right choice concerning them, and that choice should be supported by Scripture.
One cannot become holy without judging between the holy and unholy and choosing the holy. A Christian cannot grow into full maturity and the likeness of Jesus Christ, without examining themselves daily or judging themselves.
The Christian is to judge. When the church no longer judges the voice of Christianity becomes silent. And that is what the world wants. The Christian cannot in and of themselves, pass unbiased judgment on anything. But when they judge according to God’s Truth then their judgment is of God and is true. They are then not acting as judge and passing judgment but revealing God’s judgment, Who is the final judge.
And you tell us you don’t judge.
Do you think that we can’t judge,
And know that you as well do judge?
Between good and evil we judge.
We will choose good for we judge,
It is pleasing to God our Judge.
If the Truth has been our judge.
For we’ll be true when we’re judged,
By Truth Who is our Judge.
And choose the holy as we judge.
If we’ll be holy when we’re judged,
By Him Whose Holy, and our Judge.
Whether it’s good or evil we judge.
By the Word of God we judge.
As the Word Himself will be our Judge.
For we are bias when we judge.
But by God’s standard we must judge,
And give the judgment of our Judge.
Ourselves before we see the Judge.
We have His Truth by which to judge,
Ourselves today before our Judge.
And declare the judgment of the Judge.
That for our sins Christ Jesus was judged,
So we can be pardoned before our Judge.
And everyone will meet this Judge.
The saint and sinner He will judge,
By Jesus our standard, He will judge.