Judge and be Judged

Cliff Ellison

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"  Matthew 7:1, 3

Jesus warns His disciples against following the traditions and practices of the Pharisees, who judged others as if they themselves were beyond judgment.  The Pharisees would judge people by the letter.  There would be no room for love or compassion.  James and John were called the Sons of Thunder because of their uncontrolled passion.  They wanted to call fire down from heaven on a village of the Samaritans because the Samaritans did not receive the Good News.  The Apostle Paul was a great example of this practice, too.  He even participated in the stoning of Stephen who became the first Christian martyr.

We are to judge, but there is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise with careful discernment.  "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."  Matthew 7:2

The Fruit of the Spirit is the standard to use when judging others is necessary.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."  Galatians 5:22

And by the Fruit of the Spirit that is produced by us, we also shall be judged.

When judging others, here are some questions we should ask ourselves:

1. Do I expect love, but do not show love to others?
2. Do I reflect the joy of God in all kinds of circumstances?
3. Do I have peace and inner calmness that can be seen in me because of my saving relationship with Christ?
4. Do I have patience?
5. Do I show kindness and tender concern for others?
6. Do I exemplify goodness?
7. Do I have faithfulness, loyalty, and trustworthiness?
8. Do I exemplify gentleness by being humble?
9. Do I have self control in all situations?

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