I heard a message today that REALLY hit home. I was hesitant to post it at first because I don't wanna sound preachy but if it can benefit someone....
Said by Jesus during His Sermon on the Mount, this is one of the most well-known scriptures in the Bible. Nonbelievers and believers alike know this verse and use it often. However, it is one of the most misunderstood and most misapplied scriptures. A lot of people believe we are never to judge. They read this verse and take it literally.
"Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1
I learned that in the Greek language, the word "judge" that Jesus uses is the Greek word "krino" which means to "to damn, to punish, or judge to condemnation". In other words, when Jesus preaches "judge not", He is literally telling us not to judge to condemnation because nobody can do that but God.
Nevertheless, the Bible commands us in several places to judge for identification of sin and discern truth from error. For example, Romans 16:17 tells us "mark them which cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned". We are not to be critical or judge with a holier than thou attitude. We are to judge with a heart of restoration and there is a proper way to go about doing so:
- Matthew 18:15 tells us to go to that brother or sister who has sinned, in private, "just between the two of you". It's not necessary to bring someone to shame publicly or gossip about people's downfalls.
- In Galatians 6:1, Paul the Apostle says, "Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently." We should have a heart to restore, not reveal. The purpose is not to criticize but to mend and encourage.