“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”
Matthew 7:1-2 NASB
Judgement in itself is not bad. There is nothing terribly wrong with judgement. In the Christian world nowadays, anytime anyone encounters the word “judge” or “judgement“, the first thing that runs through the person’s mind is “punishment.” This is not so. Judgement is not punishment. Judgement is rather “neutral“.
When a Judge passes a decree of judgement in the law, it goes against one person and in turn, goes in Favour of the other. In the Court of Law, there’s the accuser and the accused. One of them returns satisfied and the other, not so much.
Judgement is to distinguish what is right from what is wrong and give each their due from the law. Which will mean that if I am treated wrongly by another and I appeal to the Court, judgement can be passed in my Favour. It can also go south. I believe you get my drift. Let me show you one positive sense of judgement in the Bible:
“Thus says the LORD: “Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.””
Jeremiah 22:3 NKJV
In the case above, judgement stands next to righteousness. That is a good thing right? God was admonishing the people to execute judgement. But how? By delivering the plundered(oppressed) out of the hands of the oppressor and generally not cheating the widow, fatherless etc. because they usually have no one to stand up for them in the court of law. Doing the right thing is termed as judgement even if a person worthy of punishment is punished or a person worthy of a reward, rewarded.
However, from what Jesus mentioned in Matthew 7, He admonished that you do not judge someone else when you know that if you were in the person’s shoes, you wouldn’t love to be judged the same way or by the same measure. If you judge wrongly or render a guilty person a punishment too much in relation to their deed, then prepare yourself for the same will happen to you. Probably in a different way. If you judge rightly, well you will be judged rightly in your own case. That would be awesome.
The principles of Judgement runs in the standard of equal measures. You reap what you sow, whether good or bad.
Jesus spoke out of the revelation of the divine Law of God in Deuteronomy 25:13-16:
“You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the LORD your God.”
God being the Most Awesome Judge, will not use an unequal weight or measure in judging the weight of a wrong deed or the measure of its substance.
You will receive your judgement by the same standard of measure you judge others. There’s one illustration in the Bible, I want us to review for our learning. This principle of equal weights can be best seen in the case of David.
Most of us know the story, he slept with another man’s wife(Bathsheba) then murdered the husband and took her for himself. The prophet Nathan was sent to confront David with his sin in 2 Samuel 12. He told David that a certain rich man in David’s kingdom had some unexpected company come to visit him. Though He had numerous sheep, he took a poor man’s only lamb, while he so loved and cherished and butchered it to feed his guests.
David was asked for his opinion in judging the matter( righting the wrong committed). David’s response is recorded in 2 Samuel 12:5-7
“So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “ As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!…”
II Samuel 12:5-7 NKJV
David judged the matter oblivious to the fact that this story was analogous to his own situation and wrongdoing. He judged the matter rightly by the Law of God.
“If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep.”
Exodus 22:1 NKJV
Four sheep restored for the one sheep taken and slaughtered. But David in his anger overextended the judgement and sentenced himself to death because he judged that the rich man should die. He later repented and so our Awesome Judge overshadowed David’s sentence by grace and mercy. Yet the law was the Law. Equal weights and measures. This was the law’s standard and David’s standard too so David had to be judged accordingly. David lost FOUR of His children. The first baby Bathesheba bore to him(2 Sam. 12:14), Ammon (2 Sam. 13:33), Absalom (2 Sam 18:15) and Adonijah (1 Kings 2:24).
David might have been favored in his judgement if He had shown more mercy and grace in judging the matter narrated to Him. This is because with God, Mercy triumphs over judgement. David, not exhibiting this quality of mercy, was judged by His own standard of judgement.
It is important to be really careful about judging others, for you will be judged by the same standard of measure that you used when judging them.
You can do your best in rewarding others and treating them rightly but when it comes to righting a wrong/sin committed against yourself or someone else, do not be quick to judge or seek revenge. You can fall into the same situation at any given moment in time and when you do, you would surely be grateful if others showed you mercy. Proverbs 20:22,23 says:
“Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you. Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, And a false scale is not good.”(NASB)
When we sin, God disciplines us believers by the exact scale of measure by which we judged others before for the very same sins. This is to teach us righteousness, judgement and mercy. Always bear in mind that Mercy triumphs over judgement, no matter the wrong committed.
God does and continues to do the same for you through Jesus Christ and as His child, it will please Him if you’ll act a bit more like Him in this matter.
As gleaned from the passage above from the Book of Proverbs, I believe in the case of wrongdoing committed against us, its best to leave the matter to God to judge. Only He can judge rightly without any form of error.