Matthew 7:1-2 is very clear about the fruit from judging others. It says, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
I was thinking about these two verses as I read Isaiah 58 yesterday. Verse 9 says, “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am…” Note the condition as the verse continues…”IF you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness.”
Every word and action is first a thought. When a judgmental thought comes into our mind, we need to pay attention to why. It may be that the Lord is exposing something hidden in our heart!
Romans 2:1 says, “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the SAME things.” Romans 14:19 says, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace, and the things by which one may edify another.” The thought to judge or find fault with another is a fiery dart to destroy a relationship. God’s higher way is to edify.
We are all members of one Body. We are strategically set in His Body to encourage and build one another up with our words. James 3:6 says, “…The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body…” Ephesians 4:29 is God’s higher way. It says to impart grace when you speak.
Titus 3:2 says, “To speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.” Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”
One final word. The root to a critical spirit is found in verse 16. It says, “….Do not be wise in your own opinion.” We cannot force our fleshly opinion on another. Let us purpose in our heart to build up, encourage, and impart grace to our hearers. There is only One Judge.