Do not judge, or you too will be judged. —Matthew 7:1
It’s perhaps one of the most misquoted, misunderstood, sayings of Jesus. It’s often used to shut Christians up, especially when they’re confronting sin or calling a spade a spade.
What did Jesus mean when he said “judge not, lest you be judged?”
Well certainly he does not want us to be quick to judge. He wants Christians to first acknowledge their sin. That’s important. To repent of their own sins, especially the ones that they’re maybe wanting to confront in someone else. But he does want us to confront sin.
We see it clearly in first Corinthians chapter five in a case where a man is living in outwardly immoral life, a man who claims to be a Christian, that the Apostle Paul invites the congregation to judge him. To even cut him off from their fellowship and not even to eat with the man.
But for what purpose?
Simply rid the Church of another sinner? No, rather that that man see the error of his ways repent and be forgiven and brought back into fellowship. Yes God does want us to judge, especially fellow Christians when they’re living outwardly immoral lives.
So what makes the outwardly immoral Christian any difference than a Christian who sins in the privacy of their own home? Aren’t we all sinners?
Yes it is true all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, yet there is a big difference between one who is proud of their sin, an unabashed hypocrite, and one who confesses his sin, feels guilty, and comes before God pleading his forgiveness.
God desires us to watch over fellow Christians, to be our brother’s keeper, to confront sin when we see it, especially when fellow Christians are proud of it. All for what good purpose? To bring them again to their knees, confessing their sins to trust in their Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.