By Jeff Arnette
“You are the most judgmental person I have ever met.”
Have you had someone say that to you? I have and it hurts. The people who said it was upset because of a perceived judgment of someone else. In their anger they lashed out at the person who said it and accusing them of being mean and judgmental. Without the slightest thought that they have done exactly what they accused me of doing. No wonder Jesus called such people hypocrites (Matthew 7:5). They are blind to their own actions while extremely critical and unforgiving of everyone else.
I have never intentionally been harsh or judgmental of anyone. I have tried, with great distress of heart and mind, to help others see God's standard as supreme and to help them make better choices. Yet, almost inevitably someone will make the accusation.
"Jesus said we can't judge!"
This statement has become the biggest misunderstanding about what Jesus taught. Any time someone says or does something that others say anything about. Watch out! Because here it comes. It has become the best argument most have for why they should be left alone and allowed to do whatever they want. There is only one problem with it, Jesus never said that. He never said anything about you cannot judge. What He said was be careful how you judge others because it will be the standard used to judge you.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you." Matthew 7:1-2
This is exactly the message we need to hear today. We must be careful that we are not the problem while we accuse others of being “the most judgmental people we have ever met.” In that extreme judgment of their heart and motives we condemn ourselves to being judged by God with the same extreme standard.
You see, the problem most of us have when it comes to judgment is that we tend to hold others to a standard that we could not attain, nor would we want to live up to ourselves. That is why Jesus spoke about the speck in your brother’s eye while you have a log in your own eye (Matthew 7:3-5). He wants us to be as merciful and understanding of others mistakes and misunderstandings as we desire for ourselves. This is why Jesus gave us the “Golden Rule” (Matthew 7:12).
Therefore, be careful of how you judge others. Be careful that you are not blind to your own problems while accusing those around you. Be careful that your actions don’t make you the very thing you are accusing “them” of being.
Are they really “The most judgmental people you have ever met” or is it you?
- Jeff Arnette preaches for the Central Haywood church of Christ, Clyde, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.