So often we hear people, believers and non-believers alike, using the phrase “Judge not, lest ye be judged” or a similar phrase because either, they don’t want to pass judgment on someone or they do not want judgment passed on them. We find in scripture, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2), but has this passage been misinterpreted?
The passage appears to be a warning to us to be careful how we pass judgment on others and not a commandment to never pass judgment. The passage clearly warns us that with whatever judgment we use, the same judgment will be used against us and with whatever measure we use, the same will be measured to us. In Leviticus, we find that “we are to do no unrighteousness in judgment but in righteousness, we are to judge our neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15), which is a little contrary to the meaning of the popular misinterpreted “judge not, lest ye be judged.”
In passing judgment, we are to have no respect of person, meaning we treat all the same regardless of power, wealth, or position. Scripture tells us, “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15). “Ye shall not respect persons (show partiality) in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause (case) that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it” (Deuteronomy 1:17).
Scripture tells us that it is not good nor is it wise that we have respect of person or that we show partiality in our judgment towards anyone (Proverbs 24:23; Proverbs 28:21). God told Samuel not to look on a man’s countenance or on the height of his stature, for God does not see man as man sees man. While man looks at the outward appearance of man, God looks at the heart of man (I Samuel 16:7). This means that we too must look at the heart of man. Scripture tells us, “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person” (Proverbs 27:19). Scripture also tells us that “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). So by looking at the heart and not at the appearance, we will certainly “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). The whole point of the passage appears to be that when we judge others, we need to make sure that we “judge them in righteousness and not in unrighteousness.”
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Enjoy your blessings - KW