When “Judging” Isn’t Judging: Thoughts on Matthew 7

1 Judge not, that you be not judged.2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.3 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?4 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?5 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.

We need to make sure we understand this passage rightly. Jesus is not making a blanket statement that to point out the speck in someone’s eye is to always be judgmental. It is conditional: IF I have dealt with the log in my eye AND IF my attitude is to lovingly and humbly help a brother with an issue he’s having, THEN I can address that with him in a non-judgmental way. That is in keeping with Jesus’ ministry and teaching.

There is a huge attitude difference here. Pointing out someone else’s issue to shame them or make myself look or feel superior while ignoring my own is hypocrisy. That form of judging I am never to do. However, when I see someone with an issue and “judging” that to be something that could be potentially be harmful to them and their relationship with Christ, it should actually motivate me to examine myself and deal with my own issues so that I can minister to their needs.

We have to stop looking at this passage as to equate pointing out the speck in someone’s eye with automatically judging. Jesus is plainly giving the prescription for being able to help others with their “speck”: “THEN YOU WILL SEE CLEARLY TO TAKE…”.

I know for me, I often need help in dealing with the painful and irritating specks in my own eyes…just make sure you clean out your own eyes first so you don’t damage mine.