Gospel Grace

Don’t Judge Me

Judge not, that you be not judged. ~Matthew 7:1

Many quote this verse to stave off the onslaught of being judged by others unbeknownst to those many from where this quote comes or what it really means.

When folks quote this verse, they really mean we shouldn’t judge others because, then, we’ll be judged.

That’s a part of it, but don’t substitute the part for the whole.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. ~Matthew 7:1-5

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. ~Romans 2:1-11

What Scripture is telling us: Don’t judge others by your standards because, when it comes down to it, you don’t even live up to your own standards all the time.

I have no doubt God will judge us by His standard, but does He really have to judge us by His standard if we don’t even live up to our own standard(s) which are far lower than His?

James says, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it” (James 2:10).

I think this applies to our own standards, our own “laws”. If we fail in one point of our own standards, we are guilty of breaking our whole personal standard.

And we are accountable for all of it.

This is why we need grace. It is a graceful thing to address sin, yes, but love also covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8).

We are to judge others by the fruit they bear in the Gospel, but there is wisdom in knowing when to address the sin(s) and when to cover it in love.

Gospel Love of God

Is Love A Decision ?

One statement that irks me says something like this, “Love is a decision – decide to love today.”

Really? And we know this for sure?

What drives me nuts about statements such as this is they are commands. If love is simply a decision, then I can love anybody at any time. Right? Right?

But can I truly love on demand? You are certainly a better person than I if you can love on demand. I can’t do it.

And this is where the Gospel steps in. John 4:19 tells us “We love because he [God] first loved us.” And John couples this great truth with “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

And this is good news. I can only love when I see that I am as unloving as they come, yet God in Christ first loved me! And this is my motivation to love others. When I see that God has loved me and demonstrated this great love for me in Jesus on the cross, I can love others because the Spirit of love indwells me and loving others becomes a fruit of the Spirits Gospel-applying work in my life. (See Galatians 5).

And then I can love God and love others upon which all the commands hang.