Faithlife Sermons

On Being Judgmental

The Sermons of Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:34
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Introduction

A woman was waiting at an airport one night. With several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shop, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see, that the man beside her, as bold as could be, grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between, which she tried to ignore, to avoid a scene.
She read, munched cookies, and watched the clock, as the gutsy “cookie thief!” diminished her stock. She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I’d blacken his eye!”
With each cookie she took, he took one, too. When only one was left, she wondered what he’d do. With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other. She snatched it from him and thought, “Oh brother, this guy has some nerve, and he’s also rude, why, he didn’t even show any gratitude!”
She had never known when she had been so galled, and sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate, refusing to look back at the “thieving ingrate.”
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat, then sought her book, which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise. There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!
“If mine are here,” she moaned with despair, “Then the others were his and he tried to share!” Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!
There are times when we snap to judgment without having a full understanding of what is actually happening...
[Pray with me...]
Father God, we come to you today praising your holy name, more majestic than any name.
Father, we confess to you that there are times in this life when we are judgmental and critical.. Please forgive us of our sins.
Father we ask that you help us love other more like you do and that we may be less critical of the people that we encounter.
Father I ask that you open our eyes to the work that you are doing in our community and prepare our hearts to join you and impact Los Fresnos for the name of Jesus Christ.
God, I ask that you prepare our hearts to hear your message this morning.
Father give me clarity of mind, precision of speech, and a heart for your people here this morning.
In the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, I ask these things, Amen.

I. Judge Yourself First - Matthew 7:1-5

Matthew 7:1–5 NASB95
1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
The clear teaching here is that we should each take care of our own standing before God before we begin to concern ourselves about the judgement of others.
We can see this in the comical illustration of the brother with the speck of sawdust in his eye who is being helped by the brother with the log jutting out of his own eye.
No two ways about it, this has classic Three Stooges written all over it.
The admonition in v 5 makes the application clear:
Matthew 7:5 NASB95
5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
The teaching is not to help the brother with the speck in his eye, but to help yourself first by taking the log out of your own eye so that you can better help your brother with the speck in his eye. To do otherwise is to fulfill the admonition of being a hypocrite.
So, as we like to do, we can identify the principle here that is easy to understand and apply to our lives in today’s world...
PRINCIPLE Focus first on judging yourself before you go about judging others.
We also must not forget that Jesus is contrasting the life of the true disciple of Christ with the life of a Pharisee.
Judgmentalism is the pharisaical practice of playing God by condemning others for what they have done (or not done), while avoiding accountability for one’s own actions.
We are warned time and again in the teachings of Jesus to avoid this practice.
Yet we still today practice judging others, without first judging ourselves.

II. Be Discerning With Judgment? - Matthew 7:6

Matthew 7:6 NASB95
6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
We must exercise judgment (discernment) when we are bringing the Gospel message to others. While we are commanded to share the Gospel, Jesus is saying here that we should not present the Gospel message in a way that it will draw out an abusive or profane response.
We cannot force feed the Gospel message to any who would refuse it. Our time is better spent moving on to the next potential candidate. It is possible to be aggressive and offensive with the Gospel and those who are offended by this type of evangelism will never be counted and may never have the opportunity to come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
PRINCIPLE Take care how you share truth and with whom you share it.
I recall a so-called traveling evangelist who came to our small college town and planted himself outside of our student gathering place.
His name was Brother Jim.
His method of evangelism was to stand before a crowd of college students shouting scriptures and calling names as he incited debate and offense with every word that came out of his mouth.
He was an expert at drawing a crowd and sparking a frenzy of quarreling and name calling among the young college students.
In my opinion, Brother Jim was guilty of casting pearls before swine...
I do not recall a single person that came to Christ because of Brother Jim's style of so-called evangelism.
I don't think that any of the students that showed up to argue with him over the course of several days came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
In fact, I know many of them were completely turned off from the gospel message because of the way he treated them.
He did not come to them in love. He came to them in critical judgment...
I don't see a single example in the Bible where Jesus or the apostles confronted a crown in this way.

Paul Refuses to Debate the Gospel - Acts 13:44-49

Acts 13:44–49 NASB95
44 The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. 46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 “For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, That You may bring salvation to the end of the earth.’ ” 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region.
The Jews rejected the Gospel, but the Gentiles rejoiced because they had the opportunity to respond to Christ’s offer of redemption.

III. Right Wrongs With Prayer - Matthew 7:7-11

Matthew 7:7–11 NASB95
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 “Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
We’ve come across these passages before in the Sermon on the Mount. They seem to be an interruption to what Jesus is saying. But we constantly have to go back to the idea that this message is a part of a larger message about righteousness before God.
Jesus is recognizing here that sometimes we make mistakes in the way that we relate to others because we are human. But if we ask God how we can relate to others properly, then we can expect to receive the knowledge that we need for spiritual discernment. We must continue to seek God and His kingdom if we hope to reach others without being judging and condemning, but acting with discernment.
We continue on with another misapplied scripture that has been taken out of context...

IV. The Golden Rule Applied In Context - Matthew 7:12

Matthew 7:12 NASB95
12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
The Golden Rule, is “great wisdom” in the world’s view.
And I mean this in the way that "great wisdom" comes from:
• a great teacher
• a wise man
• a prophet of God
But not necessarily in the sense of "great wisdom" from the Messiah, the Anointed One of the One True God of Israel, our Saviour, who came to die on the cross, take our sins to make us clean, so that we can enter into the very presence of God.
Just treat others as you would have them treat you and all will be well. But Jesus isn’t just throwing out wisdom for wisdom’s sake. After all, the Golden Rule isn’t how we find God, is it? When we read this with the glasses of the world view it smells of “religion.” All the religions of the world have some path to enlightenment that sounds like the Golden Rule. Just treat everyone as they want to be treated.
Jesus gives us this pearl of wisdom in light of judging others...
The Golden Rule is more than just about avoiding offense. It is more about how to work with people without being judgmental. It is there to keep us from being overly proud and critical of others. The Golden Rule is about how to relate to people as Jesus would relate to them.
When Jesus says “this is the Law and the Prophets,” He is saying that this one pithy saying embraces a great deal of scriptural teaching. This one rule is central to Christian ethics and interpersonal relationships.

Conclusion

Let me ask you this. Have you ever been hurt by someone else’s critical judgment of you or someone close to you?
This kind of emotional pain can cut us to the core every bit as much as any other form of verbal abuse.
This happens in homes, in families, between spouses, between parents and children, between siblings.
This happens in the workplace, between employers and employees, it happens among colleagues.
This happens in schools.
And it happens in churches. Brothers and Sisters let me tell you that the church is the LAST place this should happen.
I know of people that experienced judgment and criticism when they were growing up in the church, that pushed them away from the church for the rest of their lives.
Some of the people that I grew up with in church were so damaged by a critical spirit in the church that they chose to pursue a lifestyle as gay or lesbian, or sexually active, or addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Brothers and Sisters, I agree that we must confront sin and challenge other believers to rise above their sin, but we must never become so offensive to sinners that we manage encourage them to embrace the wrong path rather than the right one.
Jesus demonstrated this for us during His life by taking radical moves such as loving sinners while always encouraging them to take strides away from their sinful lifestyle.
If you have been wounded by somebody in your past that was harsh and critical toward you, I would encourage you to work toward making things right with that person.
Your path of healing can be through forgiveness.
Take some time right now to talk with God about that. You can do that here at the altar or right there in your seat. If you need the help of one of our prayer team, please come to the front and someone will be glad to pray with you.
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Others of you may be realizing today that YOU have hurt others with a harsh, critical, or judgmental spirit. If the Holy Spirit is revealing that to you this morning, I would encourage you to take the time to work through those issues. You likely will have some apologies to make and may have to work towards making amends with those that you have offended.
You might even realize that you have repeated a pattern that you grew up with. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in you and reveal what He wishes for you to see in yourself.
You may need to go to a brother or sister this week and confess what the Spirit has revealed to you today. I would encourage you to do that right now if you are able or make a phone call today to make things right with that person.
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There may be others who are here this morning who have realized that they need to receive Christ and come to know Him in a more personal way.
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Others may need to turn their lives back to Christ.
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Even others may wish to follow our Lord Jesus in believer’s baptism or unite with this church in membership.
The altar is open for you as you pray or come as you have a need.
We’ll sing together in song while the Lord works in this place.
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