Too often today you hear these words, “You can’t judge me,” “Who are you to judge?” and “Judge not lest you be judged!”  Well, to be quite direct about it, because I am a Christian I’ve been commanded to judge. I now have every right to judge anyone, anything and most importantly, myself first. Here’s the facts guys, Jesus never said not to judge.  He actually gave us the rules for judging and judging correctly.

Now that I’ve gotten your attention, perhaps by making you angry or curious, let’s read the scripture on judging that is so often misquoted and misunderstood by many of this generation.

Jesus said:   Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matt 7:1-5 (NIV)

The problem with interpreting this passage to mean not to judge is that Jesus says to judge in the last line-“take the plank out of your eye…you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s”.  Jesus is simply saying, don’t be a big, fat phony when it comes to judging.   In other words, we don’t qualify to speak into the lives of others in any particular area until we’re straight in those areas in our own lives.   We all know those who always want to critique or give advice about life and life’s issues when all the while they are failing miserably at life.  They don’t follow their own advice yet they’re the first one to point out our mistakes or flaws and tell us what we need to do differently.  That’s just plain hypocrisy.  Jesus is telling us that we should first judge ourselves and then we can fairly judge others.

Now that we understand we are commanded to judge, by what standard do we judge?   We are to judge all things by one standard, and that standard is God’s word.

God says in I Peter 1:16 “You must be holy for I am holy.”

God’s standards are all defined and encompassed in one word which is the word “holy.”

Holiness is the real culprit behind all of this “hating” or “throwing shade,” as this generation says, when it comes to judging.  The word holy gets everyone so uptight!  Holiness simply defined is the word righteous. Godliness or righteousness is God’s standard and hey, let’s face it; today there are those who just don’t and won’t agree with God’s standard or anyone who measures according to His standard.  Nevertheless, the opinions of men will never change the heart and mind of God.

Take a look at some synonyms for righteousness…

Righteousness means noble, virtuous, ethical, and moral.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines righteousness as conforming to a standard of what is right and good.

The Apostle Paul explains righteousness this way:

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse…

Philippians 4:8-9 (MSG)

All that we give our thoughts, conversation and attention to should be navigated by righteousness.  Anything else is just fleshly and unproductive.

They’ll always be those who will refute these verses of scripture by saying things like, “I don’t agree with the Bible.”  Of course they don’t.  The bible says the carnal mind is the enemy of God.  God spoke through His prophet Isaiah and put it like this:

Seek the Lord while he may be found. Call on him while he is near.  Let wicked people abandon their ways. Let evil people abandon their thoughts. Let them return to the Lord, and he will show compassion to them. Let them return to our God, because he will freely forgive them.
My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways,” declares the Lord.  “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:6-9 (GW)

There you have it.  God’s thoughts and ways are not like ours.  The way He sees and thinks about things are so much higher, wiser and better than that of mankind.   We struggle with agreeing with His standards, because we can’t begin to understand and know His ways except through the power of His Spirit-the Holy Spirit.   Through the finished works of the cross through Christ Jesus and the in-filling of the Holy Spirit we have access to the mind of God.  The Holy Spirit reveals God’s heart and mind to those who have come under His reign. Until we’ve had such a potent experience, we will remain at odds with God’s ways because a carnal mind loves only the things that are pleasing to self.

Like it or not, God has authorized every Christian to judge themselves, judge others and everything else by His standard of holiness.  May all rise to the standard of holiness for the Righteous Judge has come.

And men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely there is a God who judges on earth!” Psalms 58:11