How many times have you been told, “You can’t judge me!”?  I am sure you immediately think about Matthew 7:1.  It silences you.  “These people are right,” you tell yourself,  Jesus said, “Do not judge.”

What if I told you that is not what He meant?  C’mon!  We’ve been through this before.  Let’s look at the whole idea Jesus is talking about:

Matthew 7:1-5 (NASB) 1 "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

Yep, there it is, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”  Pretty clear isn’t it?  Keep reading.  “Or how can you say to your brother, 'let me take the speck out of your eye.’”  Are we supposed to be poking around in someone else’s eye?  Yes, I believe we are – carefully.

James 5:19-20 (NASB) 19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

So, if we are (to some degree) our brother’s keeper, how do we do it without assessing if one behavior is acceptable, and another is not?  We cannot.  So the trick is twofold: 1) We do not “judge.”  That Greek word carries the idea of condemnation.  Instead, we compare actions to Biblical authority, and when the two do not line up, one is wrong – and it is NOT the Bible.  2) We must first make sure that we, ourselves, are suffering from the same form of sinfulness.

There is another consideration.  Notice the people we are to be dealing with in this way are BROTHERS (yes and sisters too).  We are not accountable to the world; the world is not accountable to us.  As fellow Christians we are accountable to each other.  We deal with the sin in our own lives first, then as God leads, come along side of “family” and assist them. 

The problem with people who have not accepted Christ is not their behavior.  It is not the sin in their lives.  They do not need to start acting right.  They need Jesus. 

I love the person who cuts my hair.  When I want to recommend her to someone, I don’t ask them, “What happened to your hair!?”  I tell them how great she is at helping me look my best.  Especially when they tell me they are not really satisfied with their own hair style or barber.