Week 2: Do Not Judge
A quick google search gives you a ton of Memes and statements, like: “Don’t judge me by my past, I don’t live there anymore.” Or “Don’t judge me. You have not been in my shoes and you have no idea what’s really going on.” Or how about “Don’t judge me, you can’t handle half of what I’ve dealt with.” Or my favorite… “Don’t judge me cause I’m quiet… No one plans a murder out loud.” We have all felt wrongly judged at one time or another, and, as Christians, we really should take seriously Jesus’ words, “Do not judge.” We just have to know what he actually meant by that. Let’s find out!
Read Matthew 7:1-2. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Have you ever felt wrongly judged? If you’re able, talk about a time in your life when either you were wrongly judged, or you wrongly judged someone else. Did it help or hurt that relationship?
Read Matthew 7:3-5. “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? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” What “specks” do you find yourself judging others for most often? What “plank” do you feel Jesus would point out in your own eye?
The speaker said Sunday that There is a difference between a discerning heart and a condemning heart. What is the difference?
The first main point of the message was, “Never judge superficially.” What does this mean? Read John 7:24. “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” How do you “judge correctly?”
The second point was to never judge hypocritically. Read Romans 2:1. “You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.” How does this verse make you feel? Do you feel you are “just as bad” as the people you tend to judge? How can we avoid being hypocritical when we judge?
The third point was to never hold non-Christians to Christian standards. Read 1 Corinthians 5:12. “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” What does this say about how we interact with the people outside the Church as Christians? [note: Leader, this is a great place for you to emphasize that the Church is not four walls, but we are talking about those inside or outside God’s family. Also, you can emphasize that, because God tells us this, anybody can “belong before the believe” at TF]
The last point was to always help restore fallen Christians. Read Galatians 6:1-2. “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” How do you do this today in a healthy way? What does “restoring a fallen Christian” look like for you?
Ask God to show you where you are living in judgment instead of discernment. Also ask God to show you where you are excusing your o
wn shortcomings or sin rather than dealing with it honestly. Write it in a journal or on a 3x5 card, and revisit it in a week. Set a reminder on your phone or write it in a calendar if you need to. When you do revisit it, reflect on how you have trusted God with your own shortcomings as well as those of others.
CHANGING YOUR MIND
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged… Matthew 7:1-2