"Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
What does it mean to judge someone? This is a question that has been asked time and time again, because there is such a great misunderstanding of the issue. Obviously, God teaches us throughout Scripture that we are to use a righteous judgment when it comes to issues like right and wrong or having discernment about such things. When sin is pointed out to some individuals, they often respond by saying, "Don't judge me!" This is a misinterpretation of judgment. One who is pointing out what is clearly revealed by Scripture as sin is not passing judgment but simply passing along truth. There are of course people that do not want to hear this truth and will reject God outright, so these are the times that we need to be wise and perhaps not cast our pearls before swine.
The wrong type of judgment is one of condemnation. There is no man that has ever lived that has the power to condemn another. It is God and God alone that has this power and right. For man to pass condemnation on another he would have to be perfect. It is obvious that there is no one that has ever lived that is perfectly righteous in all his ways with the exception of the Lord Jesus Christ. Each man is a sinner by nature and this curse has fallen upon all of mankind. None of us have power over a soul and to speak and act as if we do is an affront to the work of the Holy Spirit. God calls His children to be salt and light in this world so that others may see the perfection of Christ in us and might respond to His work before their soul is eternally condemned.
The real problem that has surfaced when it comes to judgment is hypocrisy. We are too often much better at being critics than we are Christians. Many act as if they have no difficulties and at the same time have made themselves the judge and jury over the lives of others. Most of us find it easier to think that someone else's sin is worse than our own, because very simply we are filled with pride. Pride allows us to see the transgressions of others as glaring issues while completely ignoring our own. We have come up with the idea that to look down on someone means that we are above them, and that is really what is at the root of pride. Jesus calls us to look in the mirror of His Word and His perfection and see our sin as God sees it. We will never be able to help a brother with those things that afflict their lives when we have not been able to be honest with God about our own issues. God has called His children to be right with Him; He has not called us to be better than others.
May you live according to God's righteous standard today!