Judging Others

Scripture Reference


Matthew 7:1-5 NASBS


[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.


NIV Life Application Study Bible Notes


7:1, 2 Jesus tells us to examine our own motives and conduct instead of judging others. The traits that bother us in others are often the habits we have ourselves. Our bad habits and behavior patterns are the very ones that we most want to change in others. Do you find it easy to magnify others’ faults while excusing your own? If you are ready to criticize someone, check to see if you deserve the same criticism. Judge yourself first, and then lovingly forgive and help your neighbor.

7:1-5 Jesus’ statement, “Do not judge others,” is against the kind of hypocritical, judgmental attitude that tears others down in order to build oneself up. It is not a blanket statement to overlook wrong behavior of others but a call to be discerning rather than negative. Jesus said to expose false prophets (7:15-23), and Paul taught that we should exercise church discipline (1 Corinthians 5:1, 2) and trust God to be the final Judge (1 Corinthians 4:3-5).


KJV Study Bible Notes


7:1–4. Judge not refers to an unfavorable and condemnatory judgment. This does not mean that a Christian should never exercise judgment of any kind under any circumstances. The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another. We are not to render a verdict based upon prejudiced information. Nor are we to use ourselves as the standard of judgment for with what . . . ye mete (measure) you shall be judged. That ye be not judged refers to the ultimate judgment of God rather than our own judgment. The terms mote (Gr. karphos) and beam (Gr. dokos) are used metaphorically for a small fault and a great fault. A mote is a small speck of sawdust whereas a beam is a rafter used in building. Thus, the idea of the text is that one cannot remove the speck from his brother’s eye until he has removed the rafter from his own eye!


NKJV Study Bible Notes


7:1 This restriction does not mean that a disciple never judges. After all, some kind of judgment is required in order to obey the command in v. 6. The point of this verse is that a Christian should not have a spirit of carping criticism and fault-finding.

7:2 Every judgment that a person makes becomes a basis for his or her own judgment (see James 3:1, 2).