“You call yourself a “Christian,” but Jesus wasn’t a snob who judges people for their imperfections. You may wanna get your Bible out & check up on that.”
One might say this in itself is a hypocritical statement as it makes a judgmental opinion about those who call themselves Christians. Hmmm… Talk about judging! After seeing this statement in an ecard repeatedly posted on Facebook and thinking on it for some time, I took out my Bible to “check up on that.”
Matthew 7:1 (King James Version) says,
“Judge not, that ye be not judged .”
The word judge here means to stop pronouncing an opinion concerning right and wrong. So if we read this verse alone, then yes we are instructed not to judge. But everyone (yes me included) makes judgments about others. Doctors and nurses form opinions about a client’s symptoms to make a diagnosis. That must stop! Teachers grade a student’s performance. That must stop! Jurors decide for conviction or acquittal. That must stop! And, people forgive others. That must stop, too! Sounds unreasonable not to mention unruly doesn’t it? Oops! Sorry for making a judgment.
But, I believe there is more to Matthew 7:1 when taken into context.
“Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”Don’t give what is holy to unholy people. Don’t give pearls to swine! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” (Matthew 7:1-6 New Living Translation)
I believe these verses are not so much about deciding what is right or wrong. They aren’t even about other people, but instead the attitudes in which we as individuals make our decisions and base our opinions. They put the responsibiliy back where it belongs, on ourselves.
The Message version translates the verses above like this,
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults – unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. “Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.” (Matthew 7:1-6 The Message)
And no, Jesus is not a snob. But He does call people out (yes, even me) on their “imperfections” with the best of attitudes, love.