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Judging Others

(The following is the January 7 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Matthew 7 and pay close attention to verses 1-5.)

Many Christians and non-Christians can quote some form of Matthew 7:1, such as, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Jesus made that statement to those who were quick to condemn wrongs they found in others but were slow to see and admit their own flaws. Jesus told the listeners to get the wood beam out of their eye before focusing on the splinter in someone else’s eye. None of us like it when others judge us.

Does this mean we should avoid anything others might interpret as judging or judgment? No. After all, Jesus did say that after removing the beam from your eye, “then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye” (v. 5). We make judgments all day long in decision-making. Whether we live by biblical or unbiblical values, we constantly make judgments of some kind. Jesus warned against focusing on criticizing others while ignoring our sins.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he wrote, “For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Don’t you judge those who are inside? God judges outsiders. Remove the evil person from among you” (1 Cor. 5:12-13). Part of Christian living is being accountable to one another. That means we must warn each other when our lives conflict with God’s Word.

A graphic made the rounds of social media years ago titled “How People in Our World 'Read' the Bible Today.” It showed a page of text from Matthew 7 with only “Judge not” legible. Everything else in the chapter was marked out. Sadly, this approach distorts Jesus’ message about recognizing our sins and helping others overcome theirs. Paul Washer’s comeback when someone quotes the “judge not” verse to him is, “Twist not Scripture lest ye be like Satan.” ** We need to hold one another accountable.

Next Step:

Pray for God to reveal something about yourself that displeases him.  What can you do to change that trait or behavior? It may help to ask a Christian friend or loved one to serve as an accountability partner.


* Accessed January 6, 2021,


** Paul Washer, “Twist Not!”, Ray Comfort’s Daily Evidence, December 22, 2011,

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