Judging others is self-condemnation (Matt. 7:1-5) – Lazar Puhalo
“Do not judge or you will be judged; for you will be judged
by the same judgment with which you judge others; and it will be measured out
to you with the same measure you have used” (Mt. 7:1-2).
of truth and righteousness and can readily discern them. Nevertheless, not one of
us actually fulfils righteousness and perfection in our own lives; thus we
stand condemned by our own judgement, for the Saviour says elsewhere, “If
you could not see, you would have no sin; but now you say, `we see;’ therefore
your sin abides.”
To judge, we must see sin and failings in our neighbour. Since we can see sin
and unrighteousness clearly enough to judge it in others, we confess that we
have perfect knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil, truth and falsehood.
Since we can see these things so clearly in our neighbours, we have no excuse
in our own sins, and no hope of hiding behind ignorance and oversight in our
own unrighteous deeds and thoughts. If we “see” so clearly, we are
obliged to “fulfil” perfectly.
The moment we see the sins of another and judge them, we have stripped
ourselves of all excuse and refuge. Our own judgment deprives us of all
Since we ourselves, in judging, have set the standard of judgment, we must
always be judged by our own standard. When we measure out condemnation to our
neighbour, it is only reasonable that the same measure be used for us, and we
cannot complain, since we ourselves have established the measure.
Not all judgment is wicked, however, nor does every measure come of a prideful
heart. There is an evil judgment which seeks condemnation, and there is a
loving judgment which seeks to help and uphold our neighbour, as Apostle Paul
says, “Encourage one another daily so that none of you may be hardened by
the deceitfulness of sin” (Hb.3:13). The judgment of condemnation requires
a hypocritical self-righteousness, while a loving judgment requires a humble,
repentant awareness of one’s own bondage. This is precisely what our Saviour
means when He says:
“Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye, but pay
no attention to the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother,
`Here, let me remove the splinter from your eye,’ while you leave the log in
your own eye? You hypocrite, first remove the log from your own eye, then you
will be able to see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s
confess that we see the splinter in his eye precisely because we are aware of
the log in our own; we seek to help remove his splinter because we know the
pain of our log and wish to spare him. We seek to help our neighbour because we
know how much we need his help in return. Our own illness does not prevent us
from reaching out a loving hand to others who are also ill and we can comfort
them only because we know the pain of the same illness.
self-righteous condemnation to others, you may expect a truly righteous
condemnation in return; if you measure out love, understanding, consolation and
forgiveness from a humble heart, then God, seeing your sins, will measure out
the same measure to you, for He says through His prophet, “Cast thy bread
upon the waters and after many days it will return to you,” as He says,
“Do not curse the ruler in your heart, nor condemn the rich in your
private room: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice of your thoughts, and
that which hath wings shall tell the matter” (Eccl.11:1; 10:20).