“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
“…Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Judging and hypocrisy to do the first, is to be charged the second. Interestingly enough, those leveling the charge of hypocrisy are blissfully unaware that they have violated their own prohibition against judgment. Judging others has almost become a sport these days.
Open a web browser and what do you see? An article describing a situation with a seemingly outrageous outcome. The crux of the article is to elicit the reader’s judgment of the situation and assign blame. How many times have you seen someone on social media describe something that happened to them or something someone said to them. Why do people post such things. They want you to judge them the offended party and sympathize with them.
These are the same folks that keep “judge not” buckled to their side like a sword with which to strike down their critics and any criticism pointed their way. Saying one thing and doing the very thing you condemn—what’s the word for that? Hypocrisy.
Am I doing the same thing here? Absolutely not. I believe people should (and do) form judgments about every, single, thing. How can that be right? The problem with most folks understanding is that they read, “judge not that ye be not judged” and stop. Read the next line. You will be judged, not only for your faults, but with the same intensity that you judged others.
Judgment, as Jesus would have it, is tempered by love and mercy—especially to the repentant. Furthermore, His commandment is to love my neighbor as myself.
How do I love myself? I love myself when: I do something stupid, do/say something rude, I’m mad at myself, and I’m being obnoxious to name a few. I’m not perfect and I don’t always do the right thing, but because I love myself, I’m merciful to me and go right on loving me.
The huge prohibition in “judge not” is condemnation. If someone is on a course that is ruinous to their life or health, and you turn a blind eye to their plight, that is not love. Of course, if you must issue a warning, do it out of genuine care. Do not harangue or shame, speak with love and mercy.
This post is lovingly addressed to the hypocrites in the “Don’t judge me, bro” crowd.