For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” – Matthew 7:2

At the root of hatefully judging others is the sin of pride – we set ourselves up as superior to others and therefore think we are qualified to pass that judgment! The Pharisees judged the way they did because they actually believed that they had met all the requirements of the Law and were therefore in a position of spiritual superiority and were themselves exempt from such judgment. How could anyone judge a wholly righteous person? (or so they thought).

MacArthur writes, “When we assume the role of final, omniscient judge, we imply that we are qualified to judge – that we know and understand all the facts, all the circumstances, and all the motives involved.” As a result we will then be judged by the standard that we claim to have met. In other words, Jesus is teaching that if we are proud enough to proclaim that we can judge because we know it all, then God will judge us by the standard as if we do indeed know it all! And the more you know the more accountable you become! (See James 3:1, and Luke 12:48)

Jesus also tells us that with the measure we use, it will be measured back to us! I think this refers to the positive side of the coin. The negative was about judging and being judged. But here, we can measure good, and generosity. We can measure mercy and compassion. As we measure out these things to others it will be measured out to us by the One who controls it all. This is similar to the principle about forgiveness – when we forgive then our heart is in a position to be forgiven. If on the other hand we hold a grudge we aren’t in a spiritual position to accept forgiveness!

A very simple way to remember the truth of this verse is the saying, “What goes around comes around.” In the Bible this principle is called the sowing and reaping principle. Whatever we sow (disperse, plant, scatter) we will likewise reap (receive, harvest, gather). If we sow love we will receive peace in return. If we sow anger we will reap conflict. If we sow faith we will reap spiritual growth. If we sow criticism, we will reap scrutiny.

Jesus reinforces the truth of verse 1, do not judge. If you do you should expect to be judged yourself. And if we treat others with pride and contempt, then we will be treated the same by other and by GOD! He sets the standard – that is not our job. He has given us the standards in His Word – if we attempt to set our own standards and make our own rules and set ourselves up as the boss then indeed we have dishonored Him, proclaimed that we have a better Way. We have made ourselves a god unto ourselves in our likeness – and then we will be assured of judgment and consequences. We can either do it His way or ours. And guess which brings peace and which brings punishment?

Today, as we interact with others, remember – He is LORD, He is Boss, He calls the shots – we humbly obey! And the moment pride rears its ugly head we must run to the cross, deny self by means of crucifixion, and seek humility (Luke 9:23). How can we minister to a lost world if we can’t even view them as we all are – all of us are sinners – some have just experienced the grace of God. Is the experience of that grace the means to setting ourselves up over those who have not? Does grace make us immune to self-righteousness? Just because we have benefitted from God’s grace, does that mean we are thereby “special” to the point that we can look down on others? Grace should never be a motivation for condescention. Grace should motivate us toward humility!

As we have established, pride is at the root of judging. And in the list of the 7 things God hates (a strong word!! HATES), the sin of pride is mentioned twice! Two out of the seven things God abhors the most is the very sin that leads us to judge others. No wonder we are commanded not to judge, because then we set ourselves up for judgement – instead today, let us measure out the things that we want in return! Do unto others!! Minister humility and grace and receive the same!

Identify pride and grace in these verses.

Psalm 75:7; 10:2
Proverbs 8:13; 13:10
Jeremiah 32:33
Daniel 7:18
Proverbs 22:8-9