Stop Judging

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
(Matthew 7:1-5)

Scripture Study

7:1 Stop judging: this is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would be hardly compatible with Mt 7:5, 6 but against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one’s own faults.

7:5 Hypocrite: the designation previously given to the scribes and Pharisees is here given to the Christian disciple who is concerned with the faults of another and ignores his own more serious offenses.

Scripture Reflection

Jesus forbids us to judge and condemn the heart. No one has access to the hidden intentions that animate another’s actions, nor can one know another’s level of culpability as determined by their circumstances and by their level of moral or religious instruction.

We are prone to make unwarranted generalizations about a person’s character on the basis of this or that transgression. Judgmentalism of this sort is unacceptable behavior. Judging others for their faults is not only harmful to human relationships; it is also harmful to one’s relationship with the Lord.

Our thoughts and actions should instead focus on our call to charity. St. Paul lists its main features in his letter to the Corinthians: “Love is patient and kind . . . Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” St Josemaría Escrivá reminds us, “Let us be slow to judge. Each one sees things from his own point of view, as his mind, with all its limitations, tells him, and through eyes that are often dimmed and clouded by passion” (The Way, 451).