Judge Not

Amusing One-Way Traffic Photo

Car Drives Past Policeman Chatting Going Against One Way Sign

 1Judge not, that ye be not judged.

 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:1-2, King James Version)

Some people stop at verse 1, which throws the whole passage out of context.  It doesn’t mean to never judge.  After all, if you never judged, how would you ever decide anything?  You wouldn’t even know if that tie went with that suit because to decide either way is a judgment call.

No, the second verse points out that “Judge not” is a warning.  It is a warning as to whom, how and when you judge.  If you judge unrighteously, then “it shall be measured to you again.”  That should give us pause.  It should give us reason to:

  • Not judge unless it is required.  Do you want to be judged without cause?
  • Stick to the facts (“Just the facts, ma’am; just the facts.”).  Do you want to be judged subjectively or objectively?
  • Get all the facts.  The Bible mentions two or three witnesses for a reason.  One person’s view can be skewed.
  • Go to the source.  Jesus tells us to go to our brother and hear his side of the story.  The OT says that eye witnesses were to cast the first stone.  Think of the woman caught in adultery.  We’ll examine her story next week.

What else did Jesus say?

 24Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24, King James Version)

Look at the picture above.  It doesn’t appear very flattering to the police (my apologies to the BHPD, but I couldn’t resist such a golden opportunity).  Without any context, you might come away thinking one or more of these:

  • The cop is being lazy and not doing his job.
  • The cop is being negligent and dangerously allowing motorists to break the law in front of a school.
  • The cop is being hypocritical because he should be enforcing the law instead of watching people break it.
  • The cop is too busy chatting away and being social instead of doing his job.
  • The motorist is a menace and should have his or her license taken away.
  • The construction worker should be suspended or charged with interfering with law enforcement.

Could you come up with more?  Probably, and I’m sure I could if I took the time.  Notice how critical and accusatory all those are.  Who has an accusatory spirit?  Yet, are any of these accusations true?  Most likely, no, or at least not in this instance.

Without the context, you can easily come away with the wrong conclusion.  Have you figured out what is really going on in that picture yet?  Comment if you think you know the answer.

But, if you do not, then I’d suggest you judge not.


  1. cogp-blog-slr

    Interesting, before I read what you wrote, I thought “that looks like road construction (because of the dump truck)” and never even questioned what the policeman was doing, because I assumed he was helping divert or direct traffic. The One Way sign is clearly temporary, so it’s some sort of traffic diversion. I guess maybe that’s positive that I didn’t automatically go to an accusatory stance…this time, but we all do battle with this somewhere in our lives.