Multiple titles could fit this piece; “The Chain maker With Long ears” or for more orthodoxy, “The Sin of Unrighteous Judgment.”
Jesus came preaching Messianic Kingdom rules. He preached that holiness and authentic Kingdom living resides inside a heart. His doctrines are our truest measure of righteousness.
One often neglected, misused and disobeyed rule of Jesus’ Olivet teaching is Matthew 7:1-2. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
One way to abuse this rule is by believing a verdict should not be cast upon the fruit of the lives of others, therefore concluding that one cannot and should not identify and mark evident sin. Still others pervert Jesus’ teaching by assuming Jesus did not mean precisely what He taught and thereby they consciously permit within themselves the unrighteous condemnation of others.
Within all men is the native inclination to condemn another; to make conclusive criticisms; to think about how wicked the world is “out there;” and to conclude therefore that I am righteous because they are doing those things? To condemn, one must be able to do so with absolute authority. Judges send men to jail because the law says so and judges are given authority. However, God is the only one who can rightly judge.
Jesus did preach concerning fruit inspecting (verses 13-29). In fact the whole Olivet discourse reveals the importance of such. It is essential to see the differences of fruit in people’s lives. Neglecting to look around and notice that sin brings defeat, ruin and despair is error, Jesus said.
But what do I do when I have observed the fruit?
How will I feel about what I see over there?
What will it do to me? What will it do in me?
How will I respond to noticing and examining fruit?
What words will pour out of the abundance of my mouth concerning what I notice?
What secret thoughts will conjure in my heart?
Will I think about God’s will for me? Will I apply wisdom to my heart knowing the personal accountability for my actions concerning the fruit I notice? Will I look over there and see the fruit, then revel in disgust? or disdain such a thing? Or perhaps worse yet knowing why he did so, or assigning motives in a subtle way lifting myself up? Or will I be thankful I am not like he? Yes, fruit inspecting is requisite, but sin is never proportional nor measured by relativism.
Sin happens when one transgresses the will of God.
Jesus taught: Judge not that you be not judged and with what measure you mete it shall it be measured to you again. Your mother told you—what “goes around comes around,” or she may have said it another way—“tit for tat.” or as the story goes, once there was a blacksmith who forged strong chains. Nobody in town could make chains like he. But one day this man made a serious mistake. He found himself incarcerated and bound with his own chains which could not be broken. Thus Jesus taught concerning the precepts of a humble Christian’s hall of judgment. He knows he is human. He knows he will stumble. He will not ungraciously criticize and judge the fruit he finds of others but will receive the discernment of it into his own bosom for proactive use. He will not raise “himself up by the fruit he notices in another.
It behooves all Christians, Jesus said, not to be chain-makers!
Why should a man look and see that which is a problem with another and fail to notice he has the same problem? Now one might think that he does not have a problem of which he is judging in another, but everyone is human. everyone has a sin nature. There is sin and there are sins. All humans are subject to both. While one has this besetting sin, others have another besetting sin. Thus Jesus taught, should one judge another? And why should one assume superiority over another when all are alike? or looked at another way, why should one donkey judge another donkey by calling him “long ears”?
Can a man see his own ears?
The sin of unrighteous judgment is enslaving and self righteous. The life of discipleship, Jesus said, is a much higher calling.
Some mock others. Some judge others as an ongoing agenda. Some speak disparagingly yet religiously concerning particular sins, difficulties, problems or of other church affiliations and the “needs” they see there.
It is then that a Christian must choose. one can look at fruit and judge it correctly and without mistake but miss the humble action God desires within the heart. It is both easy and innate to compare oneself with others by this method, but it deceivingly lifts the carnal man and allows him to do things against the purposes of God. one Anabaptist group can look at another and do such easily. but that is not how God sees. God is seeing something very different.
Christians must flee this sin.
God is peering into hearts and inspecting the very thoughts and intents. This easily committed transgression of unrighteous judgment is a prison house of indulgence from which one cannot easily escape except by self denial and the extravagant grace of God.
Unrighteous judgment is the spirit of offense. It is the spirit of hypocrisy. It is the spirit of competition, the spirit of conceit and the spirit of Simon (Luke 7).
This spirit produces weak churches. It is not the Spirit of Christ. except one’s righteousness exceed this sin he shall in no wise get into heaven. Therefore Jesus taught it among the spiritual Kingdom rules for holy living.