“1Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. 6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” – Matthew 7:1-6
Often times when the word judgment comes up the kneejerk reaction is that of distain. When fronted by judgment it seems as though everyone, Christian or not, can and will quote “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Let’s face it nobody wants to be judged by anyone and most folks usually err on the side of extreme leniency when the searing light of judgment is turned inward.
Labeling someone as a hypocrite is the ready response for individuals who face judgmental scrutiny. Hypocrisy occurs when ones beliefs do not match their behaviors, in essence, feasting on the very “leaven of the Pharisees” (Luke 12:1). Is it ironic that Jesus would use what most would consider a judgmental remark “You hypocrite” while teaching correct judgment? Notice Jesus also points to judgment as holy and equates judgment to pearls (see above Matt 7:6). Remember that Jesus also referred to the Kingdom of God as a “pearl of great value”, and most can agree a pearl in biblical symbolism is still a good thing. Could it be that we are so off put by being judged that we actually overlook the holy virtue that judgment implies?
I was in prayer not so long ago and my thoughts where falling quickly back to self, I was in effect unable to pray. Troubled by this realization I could go no further than humility and simply ask why? The answer that came from within yet not of me was uttered from Mathew 12:25 “…house divided against itself will not stand.” I did not immediately understand how this revelation applied until a few days later when I realized that my prayer life had still not improved. I dug into the only answer the Holy Spirit was whispering and found hypocrisy as the cause of the division.
The Pearl of Judgment
The hypocrisy that I battle has become clear. Worries of life, the deceitful pleasures of wealth, and the desires for other things, weigh against the Kingdom of God. Keep in mind this is all “inner game”, things understood in prayer. At this point it is sufficient to say that I experience judgment as the cure for hypocrisy in prayer. Any thought that would arise in contemplation must be judged correctly. Is it the call of flesh, the accuser, a fiery dart, ego, etc…
Some would say just let go, for me I choose to stand on a sure foundation. Judgment implies a “measure”, that is to say, a standard is being used and for me that standard is the teachings of Jesus… Judgment is the cutting edge of the sword, wield it well less hypocrisy divides the kingdom.
Feel free to join our conversation already in progress at: Judgment vs. Discernment.