You’ve heard it before, right? Someone is doing something that is patently wrong, and when they’re called on it, they drag out the “Judge not that ye be not judged” line. Or someone fails to take a stand on an immoral issue or person because they think it’s not up to them to judge.
Well, after hearing from Paul today, what do you say? Sounds pretty clear to me that Paul was telling the Corinthians to get the sinning person out of their fellowship.
So then, what did Jesus mean when he told us not to judge? As is usually the case, it is helpful to look at context. The scripture is found in Matthew 7:1-5: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5You 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.”
So what Jesus was really talking about was hypocrisy, not judgement. As you know, He wasn’t very keen on hypocrites. That’s something even non-religious people have in common with our Lord. No one likes a hypocrite.
But to look at evil and call it evil is something that we are called to do often in Scripture. To call someone on their sin is right, if it is done with love and a goal to restore them to right living and fellowship. We want to bring them to repentance. James 5:20 says, “…let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
So the bottom line is this: Keep your account with God clear. As much as is humanly possible live your life in such a way that you will not be in danger of hypocrisy when you are called to confront sin. How else can we be salt and light in a lost and dying world?
Have you had to confront sin? How did it go? Comment below.