The Word Judges You, Not the Believers Who Quote the Word
There are two different forms of judgment given in scripture that all people must understand. There is biblical judgment and there is personal, hypocritical judgment.
To avoid criticism of their lifestyle, individuals in society hide behind the “judge not” scripture in Matthew 7, even if someone quotes scripture that shines a light on their transgressions. Jesus says in Matthew 7. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” However, there are two different forms of judgment given in scripture that all people must understand. There is biblical judgment and there is personal, hypocritical judgment.
Biblical Judgment is judging between and among certain situations and matters. Biblical judgment is also how God will judge the world; based on righteousness and equity. Psalms 98:9 reads: “Before the LORD; For he cometh to judge the earth: With righteousness shall he judge the world, And the people with equity.” All judgment coming upon individuals and the world comes from scripture, not Jesus’s individual opinion.
Also, the scripture teaches believers that at some point they too, will be judges of the world and the people. “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” (1 Cor. 6:2).
Personal, or hypocritical judgment is judging individuals and matters based on personal biases and not considering the flaws in your own life. In Matthew 7, Jesus suggests that while we are here on earth, we should not judge individuals or certain situations on outward appearance, but by righteous judgment. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
Jesus further suggest we should not judge others if we have not judged ourselves first. He says: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Verses 3-5.
The Lord teaches believers the spirit of righteous judgment, to look upon a simple matter and figure out the right or the wrong of the matter. This is biblical judgment. If the person is bias, and judge according to the appearance, they will not judge righteously. This is personal judgment. "For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?" (James 2:2-4).
Righteous judgment takes wisdom, and if any man asks for wisdom, God will give it to him liberally. “Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Prov. 4:7).
Wisdom, and understanding of that wisdom, helps a believer to judge righteously and accordingly. When judging between brethren, between children’s problems and arguments, between couples’ problems, or even in deciding the correct disciplinary methods of someone in the wrong, the situation takes wisdom and understanding, and believers should always go to the Word for solutions and correct judgment.
To judge a matter rightfully, a person must have experience or at least some insight to the situation. They must have a fair and a just mind, one that takes into consideration both sides of any story. If they are bias, they will only see one side and will misjudge the matter. If they have respect of persons, they will listen to the person of their choice and never even give the other a chance, and if they jump to conclusions, based on a bad experience of their own, they cannot see both sides justly. Moreover, if material things of this world influence their decision, they will pass bad judgment because their decision has a price.
Nevertheless, there is a spiritual level at which a believer can judge others personally through righteousness, which comes only after the believer has fulfilled their own righteousness and obedience to the Lord. The scripture reads: “and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.” 2 Corinthians 10:6, 7.
Meaning, a believer must first have gotten the victory over certain sins and transgressions themselves before they judge someone else. And even then, they should not judge or condemn others because that person has not overcome the same sins. We must be merciful and learn to help others overcome and not condemn them. “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” John 12:47.
Love is another basic ingredient in judgment. If the believer is entrenched in love, they have understanding of the reasons and causes of many things. They do not lack information nor experience of a subject and they can therefore, see what attribute of righteousness the situation requires before judgment and where the situation is headed. When a situation becomes difficult for a believer to judge from his or her own wisdom and understanding, they must go to the Word and search it out, then, judge accordingly.
We cannot go on what someone else tells us, which would be unwise. Nor can we go on everything the person says, because our ears sometimes hear only what we want. Nevertheless, wisdom comes from the Spirit of God. It is God’s wisdom believers need to be able to judge righteously. We cannot judge according to our own abilities or opinions, because this would be self-righteousness so we must trust in the divine power of the Holy Ghost, which comes only from God.
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).