Today we are going to talk about one of the most misunderstood scriptures.

How many times have you heard someone say, “don’t judge me, you aren’t supposed to judge” Aren’t we all sinners, what gives you the right to judge me….aren’t we supposed to leave judgment up to God?” or something similar

More Christians and not-yet Christians misunderstand this idea but it is all part of radical love.

Before we get there, I want to address something else that is misunderstood. The scriptures we are about to go into are found in Matthew 7 but as I was preparing this teaching, I had been asked, the meaning of the last verse in Chapter 6 because it often too misunderstood 

Matthew 6: 34

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

From verse 19 – verse 34 Jesus is talking about anxiety, worry….anxiety is through the roof in today’s culture and I would encourage you to read these verses….

People misunderstand this verse believing that Jesus was saying that we shouldn’t plan for tomorrow or the future but that would be foolish Jesus talks about being wise in business, counting the cost before we do things, understanding the times and seasons. What he is addressing in these verses is to simply stop worrying, stop being anxious

When anxiety comes faith leaves, when faith comes anxiety leaves

Jesus is saying choose to not be anxious, choose instead to trust Him for your tomorrow. Sometimes we need to plan, organize, look at tomorrow through Jesus eyes. Please if you are battling anxiety and believe me, I know there is enough going on in this world to be anxious about, learn to pray and leave your anxiety in God’s hands. I know at some point I will need to do an entire teaching maybe even a series on this but as I was preparing for today’s focus I always read the context of the verses I am going to focus on and this was part of that….remember man put in the chapters and verses this was all a continual monolog by Jesus.

Matthew 7:1-5

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

How many have been told you shouldn’t judge you are a Christian; we don’t judge people?

In one way it is true, I can’t be prejudice against people, Jesus wasn’t, he talked to all races, classes, ethnicities, both sexes, and all cultures of people not caring or making a judgment because of their situation and neither should we the Gospel is for all people and we can’t allow our prejudices limit our sharing of the Gospel. 

So what is Jesus talking about. First, Jesus’ audience for this discussion is the disciples those closest to him. He is giving those who he expects to change the world clear instructions about dealing with people.

The judgement he is talking about is intent, motives. He is saying don’t make a judgment based on what you perceive as motive. You can’t judge a man or woman’s heart only God knows the heart. People’s motives may be pure and the outcome a disaster but we have to give slack because we don’t know a person’s heart. Jesus felt the accusation of his motives being judged be by being called a drunkard for hanging out with tax collectors, prostitutes, and the dregs of society…. at Simon’s house why would this man allow this woman who is impure wash his feet?

However, a person’s heart will be revealed by their fruit, Jesus calls us to be fruit inspectors. We will come back to these verses in a minute but I need us to jump down a few verses to Matthew 7: 15-23

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Fruit is something that takes time to develop. We can’t really know in many cases the motive of a person’s heart but as we look at the fruit we can very easily judge and we must judge the results of a person’s action and ultimately their heart because a good tree can’t produce bad fruit and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 

Paul warns us about those who will be deceptive being completely deceived speaking doctrines of demons….that’s pretty severe and dangerous

1 Timothy 4:1,2

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

If we don’t know the word, and live the Father’s heart it will be easy to be deceived by the giftings of some….remember God gives a measure of faith to everyone, God pours out gifts on people (these verses were actually and encouragement to me in that if false motive people, deceived people can flow in gifts why can’t I)

We can only have true judgment by knowing God’s word and having our hearts right. Which takes us back to earlier in chapter Matthew 7: 3-5

3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

What generally happens is people’s hearts are wounded, impure, when they are judging people they are judging based on their experience, through their wounds, their hurts, rejections and they see someone else and judge based on that not based on the fruit in a person’s life.

Jesus is saying your pain, your wound, your rejection, your experience, and especially your sin and/or guilt from it, are no reason for you to be a hypocrite (two-faced) and judge someone else.

A speck in the eye is painful for the person that has it and they need someone who out of purity of heart and genuine love can help them eliminate it. Radical love sees people through Jesus eyes not judging the motive of the heart but being patient enough to wait for the fruit. 

Radical love looks at our own heart first, judging the purity of our own motives. Often, jealousy, envy, insecurities, fear, worry, anxiety often cause us to judge the motives of others before giving a chance for the fruit to prove the truth. (second marriages example)

Jesus is saying yes, it is ok and you must judge but only God can judge the motive of a person’s heart. Before you are quick to judge what someone is doing, saying or whatever action they may be taking check your own motive for your judgment.

However, we are to be a fruit inspector. Look at the fruit of a person’s life. If someone is broke, always in trouble financially, I would not ask them for financial advise. If someone’s children are out of control, I would not ask them for advice on raising children. If someone is always anxious and worried, I would not ask them how to gain peace.

This is why it is so critical that we walk our talk. Yes, there will always be people who will judge you because of their brokenness and often will judge you based on their brokenness but we must live a life of radical love that allows people to see the fruit in our lives.

We also must judge ourselves, taking an inventory of our own hearts so that we remain pure enough to help those with the speck in their eyes.

We must wise and know God’s word so that we are not deceived by people that seem like they are following God. You can have gifts of teaching healing, prophesy, deliverance, leadership and not truly be following the Lord. Look at the fruit of a person or ministry.

Is there love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, meekness, kindness, is there people growing closer to Jesus or are they simply growing closer to the person. Are you or they anxious, confused, always seeking answers but never willing to learn, or do you feel love….anyone can have an off day but that is why we are called to look at the fruit a long term. I have seen leaders who are always trying to sway people with secret truth that goes against real truth but it causes people to feel special being they are part of the secret knowledge….God’s motives and truth are always very clear and evident if we would just follow.

Love radically….get healed of judgmentalism, get free from a judgmental attitude and be healed of your jealousy, envy, insecurities, wounds, brokenness that causes you always to judge a person rather than waiting for the fruit to bear.

Live truth so that others may see it and come to freedom….I believe this too will help cure some anxiety.   Our world is filled with lies but it is our walking in the truth that causes these lies to be dispelled 

If you are stuck in a world of judgmentalism, allow the Lord to heal your wounds and hurts that cause you to quickly judge the motives of people’s hearts. This is the way you can walk in freedom, hope, love, joy, and peace.