Whether we admit it or not, we are in a consistent state of judgment. We are constantly evaluating what people mean, say, and do for or against us. The question isn’t do we judge but how do we judge. Do I begin judgment with an healthy, honest look at myself? Do I judge to condemn or to complete? Do I judge with blind assumptions or with clear truth? Do I see the faults in others without seeing the failures in myself first? – Pastor Dave
Open: Have you ever judged someone or has someone ever judged you inaccurately? Describe this experience:
Read: Matthew 7:1-6; Romans 14:10-13; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; James 2:1-13
1. How has this passage (Matthew 7:1-6) been taken out of context by both Christians and non-Christians? How does our culture seek both individual autonomy and corporate tolerance? How are these two concepts contradictory? In what ways do we judge every day?
2. Jesus commands his followers, “Do not judge.” Yet throughout the gospels we find Jesus making keen judgments. What does “do not judge” mean in the context of the Sermon on the Mount? How is condemnation different than evaluation?
3. How are we hypocritical in our judgments? How does Jesus challenge hypocrisy in this passage? What does it mean to take the “plank out of our eye” before we take the “speck out of another’s eye”? Describe some “planks” we can find in our own eyes?
4. What are some consequences that arise after judging from a position of pride and self-centeredness? Do you agree with the statement, “When we find a fault in someone’s life, it usually flows out of some insecurity or failure in our own life”? How have you seen this as exemplified in your own life?
5. Is Jesus saying that judgment is prohibited? Why or why not? Describe the illustration Jesus uses with dogs and pigs? What are some steps we can take to make sure that we are judging appropriately?
Pray: Pray that you would be a consistent salt and light in your relationships by living with the Kingdom in mind.
Memorize/Meditate: Judge not, that you be not judged. For 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