Read Matthew 7:1-21. Many today point to the words of Jesus to defend an "anything goes" way of living. They remind us that Jesus said, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged" (Matthew 7:1). But is Jesus really saying that we should turn a blind eye toward sin?
Our Lord is not telling us to accept perversion—shrugging our shoulders and saying, "Who am I to judge?" As we've seen throughout this study, the entire Sermon on the Mount presents a contrast between the righteousness we receive from Christ and self-righteousness; between internal faith and external rituals; between God's way and man's way.
As human beings, our judgments tend to be merciless. But God, who sees all things and knows all things, is perfect in judgment and mercy.
My friend, when Jesus says, "Do not judge," He means that we should avoid judging the unseen motives of other people. Only God can see the heart; only He knows what is happening inside a person's mind. As human beings, our judgments tend to be merciless. But God, who sees all things and knows all things, is perfect in judgment and mercy.
Judging motives can distort our view of other people because we judge what we cannot see. Judging in this way also distorts our view of God because we presume that He judges by the same standard we do. Moreover, this type of judging distorts the view we have of ourselves. That's why Jesus rightly says, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3).
In this specific passage, Jesus is talking particularly about our relationships with other believers. He's not saying we should turn a blind eye on our brother's sin. Not at all. Rather, we'd better do some self-examination, confession, and repentance to deal with our own sin before we try to help somebody else with theirs.
Once you're able to mourn over your sin—once you're able to repent of your sin—then you'll be better prepared to help your brother or sister. Any confrontation of sin in another person's life must be done in meekness. It must be done in humility, not in pride, for we have nothing to brag about except the blood of Jesus Christ.
The way of Jesus, described perfectly in the Sermon on the Mount, is not something we can hope to master on our own. The only righteousness we have comes from Him. If we can keep this at the forefront of our minds, we will experience the abundant life Jesus promised.
Prayer: Father, help me to see my own sin and to confess it readily in repentance. I pray that, as I do, I would be an encouragement to my brothers and sisters in Christ, showing them that Your grace is sufficient always. May we together seek to follow You all our days. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Appropriating the Happiness That Is in You: WATCH NOW | LISTEN NOW