For many years, christians have over used and misinterpreted Matthew 7:1. I don’t know which one annoys me more: thou shall not judge or judge not! Can i just be honest? this is one scripture i hate hearing people quote because they will always use it out of context. Shall i encourage you to please pause here and read Matthew 7:1-5 and see for yourself that there is a different meaning to the passage. Growing up, I learnt not to read just one part of a scripture and give my interpretation and walk off. Always try and read the entire passage and if possible the chapter before that to get a better idea of the message being passed across.
I believe and encourage the idea of scripture interpreting scripture, so as always I will use another scripture to interprete this. Matthew 7:5 says “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.” I feel what it means is that once your eyes are clear, you can then attempt helping your brother to clear their’s not that we shouldn’t at all.
Most christians quote this passage when you try to call their attention to something they are doing wrong. Vs 2 says the same measure you use to judge others you will be judged meaning if I rebuke someone for doing something, I should know that it stands the same for me but that does not in any way mean that if I support something wrong I can get away with it.
Now lets journey through the Bible and see what other prophets have to say about judging.
John 7:24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly another version says “instead judge with righteous judgment” This means we should not just judge people on worldly grounds but use the Bible (righteous judgement), does the Bible justify what they are doing? If not then what does the Bible say? This was why in the last week’s writeup, I didn’t just air my opinion about homosexuality but used the Bible to see what God had to say about it (which was that they will not inherit the kingdom of God).
Some people have rephrased this verse today by saying “Oh you are being too negative, you can’t see the positive side of things” I am sorry but there is no positive side to sin.
1 John 4:1 says Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. How do you know that? You weigh against the Bible and by so doing, it is judgment but righteous judgment. I have seen pastors, I mean what is going on with South Africa though? They have so many pastors with questionable characters. From a pastor telling his members to eat grass and drink petrol because he said he prayed over it and it has become pineapple juice. Recently, another video emerged where a South African pastor yet again prayed over a lady’s weave and told his members that it is food and no longer hair; you needed to see how they devoured the hair and swallowed everything. The Bible says test the Spirit! People say I am judging and I say “Yes I am!”
Very a very young age I have learnt not to believe everything people say when it comes to interpretation of the Bible not even my pastor! So, at age 13 I had read the Bible cover to cover including every genealogy lol. I am reading it again this year but due to so much commitments I am not too faithful but I am saying this here so that you all can be my accountability partners; next time you see me, ask me how my “through the Bible in a year plan” is going just to encourage consistency (smiles). I guess what i am saying is: when you stand before God’s judgment throne, the words of your pastor, pastor’s wife, mum or dad will not count because you have access to the Bible to read it on your own and presence of the Holy Spirit to interprete as you devout time to daily Bible study and prayer.
The scripture below pretty much explain themselves:
1 Corinthians 5: 11-13
11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
2 Thessalonians 3: 14-15
14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
So if I call your attention to something and rebuke you for a wrong doing, I am not just judging you; I count you a member of the family of Christ if not, I will not even share a meal with you just like 1 Corinthians 5:11b. This does not mean that we should not dine with non Christians, it means we should be wise and know how to handle them in different situations.
I encourage us all to correct each other with love and patience and kind words not with envy and jealousy and also, do not Believe any pastor if their words do not add up with the Bible.
Until I come your way again next week, keep looking out for backslidden brothers and pull them back on tract with love.