Friday, January 11, 2019

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

To Judge Or Not To Judge
Matthew 7:1-21
Judge not, that you be not judged.(Matthew 7:1)
 What better way to tell people to mind their own business than to quote Jesus? People who seldom read the Bible are quick to quote Matthew 7:1 when they want to silence someone whose opinion they don’t like. “Judge not, that you be not judged” seems like the perfect response.
In context, however, the passage indicates that we are indeed to judge; we’re just supposed to avoid faulty judgments. Furthermore, our judgments are to begin with self: “First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye,” Jesus said (v.5). He then said, “Beware of false prophets” (v.15). This too requires judging—we need to be able to discern truth from falsehood.
Jesus used the metaphor of fruit to give us the proper criteria for judging. “By their fruits you will know them” (v.20). We are to judge people (including ourselves) by the quality of the fruit they produce. This fruit cannot be judged by earthly values such as how good we look (v.15). It must be judged by heavenly values—the fruit of the Spirit produced within us—love, joy, peace (Gal. 5:22).
Our tendency is to judge by appearance. But God judges by what we produce, and so should we.
Dear Lord, please help me not to judge others.Amen.
They truly lead who lead by love and humbly serve the Lord; Their lives will bear the Spirit’s fruit And magnify His Word. 

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church