The focus is from an impure heart. Now, here’s the kind of judging Jesus doesn’t want you doing. Anger. Envy. Jealousy. Blaming people. These are motived from an impure heart. That’s what Jesus is after. Now, come on. You realize this. You have to judge things in your life. You judge all day long.
He’s not saying that judgment from a right motive is wrong. You don’t sit there and look at a serial killer and say, “Well, I’m just going to love him. I’ll let him in my house. He can stay the night.” Come on. You realize that’s a hypothetical and how silly that sounds, but that’s what it means. You don’t coat everything. You learn to evaluate things.
What Jesus was after was people judging others in anger and in impure thoughts and blaming people and being envious and jealous. That’s the kind of judging that God does not like because in that case, the heart is wrong. The heart is not loving. However, you can judge and love and be realistic about things that are around you.
I do this all the time, and I don’t feel evil when I do it. When I do small groups and stuff, periodically I’ll just weigh where the person’s at. You understand?
Especially when you’re counseling people, you’ve got to judge where they’re at as an individual. They understand this. There’s nothing impure in that. This isn’t something God’s going to get on my case about and say, “Brian, why’d you judge him?” “Well, I had to judge him to minister to him.” “Well, don’t judge. Just walk around the world and act as if nothing’s ever happening.” That’s just ridiculous.
He’s talking about a certain heart motive, okay? Judging people with impure motives brings judgment upon us, and life will not go well for us when we judge somebody from an impure motive. See, these things actually lock you up to the power of them being in your life. When I go around and I judge someone—let’s say that, out of envy, I judge an individual—I think I’m really releasing something in a life.
What I’ve just done is I’ve released the power, the thing I’ve just judged them in, upon my own life. Now I’m in bondage to it until I forgive them, ask the Lord to forgive me, forgive the situation, and break free from it.
We do this naturally almost all the time because we’re taught to think in impure thoughts and judge people wrongly. We don’t realize the effect that this has on us. Sometimes we’re not breaking free in God because we’ve judged things all over the place. By the way, the Lord pulls me aside on this one quite a bit.
I grew up in a household where we used to impurely judge people all the time. I have a tendency just to fall into it. The Lord has systematically been trying to pull me out of it. Over the last couple months, the Lord has just kind of said, “You’re getting to a point where you’re overcoming this. I want you to not even go near. I don’t want you to.”