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::Devotional:: ‘Don’t You Dare Judge Me’

March 25, 2010

Have you ever heard, “Don’t you dare judge me?”  Usually it comes along when we’re trying to help someone see the error of their ways and gently encourage them back on the right track.  We’re often seen as hypocritical or judgmental because we don’t exactly have all our trains going in the right direction either if you know what I mean.  When someone says, “don’t you dare judge me”, are they Biblically correct?

Actually, they are correct.  In Matthew 7 Jesus says,

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. Matthew 7:1-2

However, there is a great misunderstanding involved here.  The point here is more about the motivation rather than the action of judging someone.  The word judge in this passage is a Greek word we get our word critic from today.  According to Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, it means to separate, distinguish, or discriminate.  Believe it or not, this aspect of the verse is necessary in the growth process of believers.

Think about this like a football player and his coach.  As practice unfolds day after day the coach notices the player is often distracted, not fulfilling the responsibilities of his position, and even lacking in certain areas of his technique and stance.  The coach has noticed, or distinguished, that this player needs some one on one attention.  So, after practice one day the coach pulls the player aside and begins to talk to him about the things he has noticed.  Why would a coach do that?  What is his motivation?  Easy, he wants to make the young man a better football player.

Often where this process goes wrong is when the motivation to judge someone else is to build ourselves up.  In other words, the further we can push them down the higher and mightier we feel about ourselves.  In fact, if I can push someone down far enough by finding lots of faults in them, particularly sin related, then my sins don’t look half as bad when compared to theirs.  That’s called hypocrisy.  I’m using an unfair measurement to judge while I use a different measurement to judge myself and in doing so I present myself as better than I really am or something that I am not.

It is very easy to be captious, or fault finding, as we look at other people.  It is important to keep in mind that the appropriate standard of measurement is the absolute perfection and glory of God.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

That means nobody measures up.  Nobody except Jesus Christ.   By accepting him as Lord and savior, his fulfillment of that standard of measurement is then applied to us.  We become sinners saved by grace.

Our judgement is ok when it is motivated by love with the intent to compassionately correct.  Our judgment is not ok when it is motivated by pride with the intent to build ourselves up or justify our own actions by finding fault in someone else.  Think about it, how would anyone be trained or coached in righteousness if coaches and trainers were disqualified because they were not perfect?

Tomorrow we’ll look deeper into this passage and see that although we are to not judge someone unfairly, Jesus himself acknowledged the responsibility we have to help guide and correct one another along the way in accordance with the standards of His word.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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