Only God can judge me.
Before Tupac and Master P. made this quote famous, people said this hoping no one would call out their bad decisions.
I’ve seen people flippantly posting this phrase on Facebook. In regards to what is right before God concerning eternal salvation, that is completely true. The more strange, unusual, or repulsive a person is, the more we should set aside our personal feelings and welcome them treating them as family.
So only God can judge me, right?
Being a Christian does not give us a robe and gavel. It certainly does not give us the right to pass judgement on sinners. In fact, Luke 6:37 makes it pretty clear.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” – Luke 6:37 (CSB)
Right, only God can judge me.
What is more important, the sins of others, or your sins? In Luke 6:41-42, Jesus asked why point out a splinter in your brother’s eye?
“Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,’ when you yourself don’t see the beam of wood in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the splinter in your brother’s eye.” – Luke 6:41-42 (CSB).
I get it, only God can judge me.
Not so fast. That is an oversimplification of the content and the intention of this passage. Let’s look again at the end of Luke 6:42.
“Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the splinter in your brother’s eye.“
Christians should not judge others. “Only God Can Judge Me” is an overused phrase, however. Any time someone points out a misdeed, people respond with this phrase without a thought
This isn’t the intention though. We are to call our friends and family out. We are to show people around us where they are making mistakes. It is necessary to guide them back to the path by rebuking them.
When we rebuke, however, we should not do it in a judgmental tone, but rather in a loving tone, wishing to alleviate the load of a person, not heap burning coals of judgement on their back.
“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” – Romans 14:1-4