To continue highlighting verses that are often taken out of context, we stumble upon Matthew 7:1. In this verse, Jesus says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
People frequently use this verse as a comeback when believers comment on sinful actions or unhealthy habits in their lives. They use this verse as an excuse to keep on living lifestyles that displease God or ride the line of ungodliness.
Contrary to this thought process, God calls us to live upright lives that are above reproach.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
This verse proves that our lives are to be transformed from their former ways of sin and conformed to a lifestyle that honors and glorifies God.
Back in Matthew 7, Jesus is addressing hypocrites who criticize others without first checking their own hearts and intentions. In the following verses, Jesus explains that it does no good when we warn someone about the “speck” in their eye while ignoring the “log” in our own eyes.
Unrighteous judgment seeks to elevate ourselves rather than encourage the other person to live a more godly life. When we ourselves aren’t perfect, we cannot put ourselves in a position to look down on other believers.
That being said, we are called to righteously judge the truth. A few chapters later, in Matthew 18:15, Jesus says, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”
When we approach someone about a fault they have committed, the goal should not be humiliation, but reconciliation. We are called to point others to the way Christ lived rather than shame them for their mistakes.
Ultimately, we will all continue to make mistakes, but when we view other believers as team members and encourage them toward godliness, we will be seeking God’s glory more than anything else.