Most people are familiar with this terse misquote from the Bible (Mat 7:1). It is the weapon of those who do not want to admit that they are wrong. “I may be wrong, but you should not condemn me!”
The result is silence. Christianity has become a mindless non-judgmental weak-willed group of people who teach righteousness but never stand for it.
You can see clearly now
Matthew 7:1-5 addresses hypocrisy not spiritual discernment. Hypocrisy is teaching one principle and doing another. When we believe something different than we teach it is also called hypocrisy. This second kind fills pulpits across the country as preachers hide their true convictions because of the will of their congregations.
In order to prevent error in judgment we should first judge ourselves. Once we correct ourselves then we can see clearly to correct others.
“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;…” – Matt 7:5
Both “motes” are taken out in the end.
“and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” – Mat 7:5
Paul teaches the same lesson about hypocrisy to ‘those that judge’ in Romans 2:1:
“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”
We need more judgment!
Contrary to how many misquote Mat 7:1, the Bible teaches that we need righteous judgment. Judgment comes from wisdom. Wisdom comes from God (1 Cor 2:13).
Jesus said that one of the problems of the hypocritical Pharisees is that they did not use judgment according to the law”
“ Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” – Mat 23:23
Jesus said to Israel that they should judge a “righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
A judgment with God’s wisdom
Judgment is not only needed when speaking about our behavior but also when it comes to discerning God’s truth. It is rare to see people able to properly judge or rightly divide God’s instructions in the Bible (2 Tim 2:15).
Hypocrisy today comes from those who teach the judgment of Mat 7 but do not obey the clear instructions in Mat 6:26 or 5:29!
While Jesus taught the wisdom of the law and the prophets in Matt 7:12, Paul teaches the wisdom of God “in a mystery” which “none of the princes of this world knew” (1 Cor 2:7-8).
It is with this new wisdom from God that Paul writes that we are able to compare spiritual things to spiritual (1 Cor 2:13), and we learn that our instructions are not found in the teachings of the law in Matthew.
“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” – 1 Cor 2:15
Without judging all doctrine through Paul’s gospel we are showing a lack of judgment when it comes to rightly dividing God’s instructions. The wisdom we use to make a proper judgment should be God’s “manifold wisdom” given finally to Paul (Eph 3:2, and 9-10).
“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent…” – Phil 1:9-10
Without this judgment many people are placed back under the law system and a curse (Gal 3:10). Proper judgment is needed to discern right from wrong, and right doctrine from wrong doctrine.