“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
That’s what Jesus says in Matthew 7:1. If you judge, then you will also be judged by God.
He goes on to explain further in verse 2: “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Speaking about this very passage, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: “The sword wherewith they judge their brethren will fall upon their own heads.”*
These verses from the mouth of Jesus are very powerful; but they’re also frequently taken out of context.
They don’t mean that you never have an opinion. And they don’t even mean that you should never offer a word of correction to someone. (More on that tomorrow.)
They mean that we never finally condemn someone, and that we shouldn’t act in a way that is too severe or too superior.
God is the ultimate judge, not us.
That teaching is liberating. After all, if God is someone’s final judge—and not you or me—then we can instead focus on something more life-giving.
“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
By Matthew Ruttan
–*Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1959), 183.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.