Logs and specks
One Bible verse that a lot of people seem to know and like to quote is, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged” (Matthew 7:1 NLT). If you express disapproval of a certain behavior, dislike someone's attitude or speak unkindly of another person, you can almost be sure that someone will start throwing these words at you.
Does that mean Christians not allowed to express disapproval, point out obvious sin or even have an opinion? Many people would “judge” us for doing so. But Jesus was judgmental at times, especially when it came to someone who flaunted their piety, showed no mercy, and refused to believe He was the Messiah. Old Testament prophets like Ezekiel were told it was their job to warn people about sin.
So what did Jesus mean when He spoke those words?
Here are those words in context from Matthew's gospel:
“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).
If you're going to point out someone's sin, be prepared to have your sin addressed, too. Don't be a hypocrite and pretend you're better than someone else. Come clean about your own “log” (sin) and need for God's grace and forgiveness. Then you can talk about the “speck” that someone else needs to deal with.
The law of God, which does specify right and wrong behavior, shows us our sin and condemns us. It makes us aware of our need for a Savior, and drives us to Him for forgiveness. That's why we point out sin. Not to condemn, but to proclaim the gospel.
The important question is, “What's your motivation?” Are you expressing disapproval to make someone look bad? To make yourself look good? Or to proclaim Christ?