Please judge me, but remember what Jesus said: “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” This is at the heart of the issue. It is not judgment itself that is the problem, but the standard we are using. Apply the same standard to yourself that you are applying to others. It is easy, after all, to point out other people’s flaws while totally ignoring your own:
“Therefore, you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?” (Romans 2:1-3)
The problem among the Roman Christians was that some in the church were applying a standard to others that they were unwilling to live by consistently. In particular, the Jewish Christians felt safe and secure because of their circumcision, among other “status symbols”, while they criticized their Gentile counterparts for all kinds of sins. Paul’s point, that is driven home later in the book, is that we all commit sin, whether circumcised or not, and we shall all be judged according to our deeds (Romans 2:6) by a universal standard of judgment. This why we must be careful to live by God’s standard. If I can judge others using myself as the measuring stick, why should I ever get upset when the same is done to me? “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day” (John 12:48). Equipped with the Bible, believers are called upon to “Judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). If we are directed by God’s message we will never have a problem with judging others by an indefensible standard.
The Log In Your Own Eye
Please judge me, but make sure you can see clearly enough to actually do me any good. The “log” is any fault or inconsistency that hinders us from accurately judging a situation. Jesus’ anecdote reminds us how ridiculous hypocrites are when they believe they can help others while monumentally incapacitated by their own spiritual handicaps.
Please judge me, but help me out a little by taking care of the glaring problems in your own life. “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” The first step is clearly necessary, but implied in this directive is the idea that we must come to grips with our own sinfulness. “This confession of sin, when truly and deeply felt, psychologically prepares us to be fitter judges, because it restores our humility, our knowledge and fear of personal failure and destroys our cocksure self-righteousness. The more critical we are of ourselves, the more merciful we will tend to be toward the failures of others… The ability to love may be in direct proportion to how much we think we need forgiveness” (Fowler, 402).
I am certainly not perfect at accepting somebody else’s judgment, but I try to see that there is a vast difference between two attitudes. The first says, “Don’t judge me!” God has many things to say about this (Proverbs 10:17, 12:1, 15:10, 15:32), none of which is complimentary. The second attitude says, “Please judge me.” God also says some things about this in the Proverbs (13:18, 15:5, 15:31-32). It is time we embraced sound judgment, even when it is uncomfortable, and welcomed the many opportunities presented to us to become better servants of God. So go ahead; please judge me!