“Judge not, that you be not judged.F or with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.(Matthew 7:1-2)
OUR LORD evidently does not, in these words, condemn that honest judgment which, for our own safety and for the good of society, we are compelled to form of men and women with whom we come in contact. Such judgments are inevitable. But He condemns that censorious and uncharitable judgment which is always finding fault, always neglecting the good and dwelling on the bad, always spreading unfavorable and inaccurate reports, which are often founded on very superficial and insufficient grounds.
How true it is that we are measured by the measure we use for others. There is a remarkable Nemesis in life, which is the judgment-seat of God. The evils we inflict on others, like the Australian boomerang, which becomes almost a speck in the sky, come back to ourselves. If you are generous in your estimate of others, you will be estimated generously. If you are mean and stingy, others will treat you in the same spirit.
In Mat 7:15-20, Christ gives us the infallible test. He suggests that in every age there will be those who care for the fleece more than for the flock, and who come into the fold under a most winsome and bewitching guise. Beware of such people, and judge them, not by their doctrine, but by their fruits. The Devil is the most orthodox theologian in the world: “I know Thee, who Thou art, the Holy One of God.”
“By their fruits ye shall know them.” You cannot judge what a man is by hearing him repeat a creed; but as you observe his character, his disposition, his behavior; not in public, but in private; not for a day, but for a year, you can come to an almost certain judgment as to whether God or self be the ruling consideration of the inner being.
Make us merciful, O Christ, in our judgments of others. May we think no evil. May we forbear and forgive one another as Thou dost forgive us. AMEN.
Devotional taken from “Our Daily Walk” by F. B. Meyer. Minor revisions made by Sandra Bivens Smith.