The Bible encourages us to share everything with fellow believers: our possessions, our money, our sins, our struggles, and our secrets. Yet, we use words like privacy and confidentiality to keep others at a distance. We even quote scripture to make sure our Christian brothers and sisters don’t get in our business.
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5 NLT)
When most people quote this verse, they stop after the first sentence. That makes it cut and dry that we should never judge anyone…ever. However, that is the very definition of taking something out of context. If you keep reading, that Jesus goes on to give us a directions on how to judge.
Jesus doesn’t say that you should ignore the speck in a friend’s eye so that you won’t offend them. He doesn’t say to subtly hint at the speck so things won’t get awkward. Jesus says that you should make sure that you take the log out of your own eye first. You should remove any barrier that would make it difficult for you to help your friend, whether that is a sin of your own or an ulterior motive. Then, and only then, you should lovingly start to help remove the speck from your friend’s eye.
So am I saying we should judge others? Absolutely. That is what accountability is all about. If we do not hold each other accountable, how can we encourage other to grown in our faith? Keep in mind that I am only talking about “Christian on Christian” judgment. Paul is very clear that there should be a difference in how we treat believers and non-believers when it comes to judgment.
When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11 NLT)
Wow, that is pretty powerful. We shouldn’t even eat with those that refuse to repent of their sins? That’s a far cry from our current practice of sweeping these issues under the rug.
Do you know what is more awkward than discussing difficult issues? Getting to the end of your life and realizing that there was so much more you could have done to help your Christian brothers and sisters grow closer to Christ.
Find an accountability group. Be loving AND honest with your Christian friends. Let’s obey what Jesus commanded and help each other get the specks out of our eyes. If we don’t, we are actively preventing each other from being who we are created to be.