do not judge

The story is told of John Wesley, who once observed a man give just a small gift to a particular charity. “What a cheapskate, what a penny-pincher!” thought Wesley. He confronted the man, “How dare you give so little to such a worthy cause?” Humbly the man replied, “Sir, before I came to know Christ, I ran up many bills. I cheated others in money, I was very dishonest. Now I’m paying everything off, because Christ has made me an honest man. I can give only a few offerings above my regular tithe. I must settle up with my worldly neighbors and show them what the grace of God can do in the heart of a man who was once dishonest.” To this, Wesley apologized.

Jesus instructs His disciples concerning judgment of others in Luke 6:37, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned.” This does not mean we never make a judgment concerning right or wrong, or between what is godly and biblical or ungodly and unbiblical. We are told in many other places of the Bible to make right judgments and discernments and to consider our ways and ways of others. What Jesus means here when He says, “Do not judge,” is that His people are not to make rash judgments, without all the facts, or unfair judgments, based on personal preferences and opinions. When relating to others, followers of Christ must always be slow to judge, slow to speak and quick to listen, with spiritual eyes and ears open, full of grace and giving and forgiving, and keeping short accounts. We are to take out the logs in our own eyes first before we jump to rash judgments and remove the specks in others’ eyes. I pray God will do this work in me and all His disciples.