“JUDGE NOT that you be not judged.” Perhaps the most widely known and misinterpreted scripture in the Bible. But what does it really mean? Jesus condemns the habit of criticizing others while ignoring one’s own faults. Therefore, He tells us to FIRST submit ourselves to God’s righteous standard (The Word) before attempting to examine and influence the conduct of other Christians.

Psalm 51 reiterates Jesus’ words, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Then will I teach transgressors thy way; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Our heart must always be in a manner that includes seeing the offender return to God and His ways.

Jesus is not denying the necessity of exercising discernment or making value judgements with respect to sin in others. Read that again. Elsewhere we are commanded to identify false ministers, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing”. How do you identify false teachers without judging their fruit? We are told to evaluate the character of individuals, “Do not give that which is holy to dogs, neither cast your pearl before swine”.

How do you know who are pigs and dogs without examining another’s character? We are commanded, “Have NO FELLOWSHIP with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose, gently correct) them.” Oh how I wish people took to heart the command to “be not equally yoked with an unbeliever” and “bad company corrupts good morals”.

If only you truly believed God knew what He was talking about! We are to judge and examine friendships and to choose carefully and wisely those whom we are in fellowship with. Almost every person I’ve seen wander away from the Lord and His tenets was because they chose to be in a relationship, friendship or otherwise, with an evil companion.“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs‬ ‭12:26‬

‭How do you choose carefully without judging and examining another’s character? You cannot. We MUST first have wisdom and discernment and a desire for reconciliation with the LORD. Examine yourself. Judge yourself and you will not be judged. Keep your own heart clean and pure. Do the hard work, and then you can see clearly to help a brother out.

If a brother falls into destruction and you see him going down that path but do nothing about it, how will you answer the Lord? “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John‬ ‭7:24‬ ‭“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” Galatians‬ ‭6:1‬ ‭#runyourrace

To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page

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