Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
—Matthew 7:1-2

How does true tolerance differ from pseudotolerance?

True tolerance requires making a judgment. You can only tolerate things you disagree with or dislike. In order to disagree or dislike something, you have to make a judgment. Now, we make judgments all the time. For example, we choose what clothes to wear and where to eat. Yet today the proponents of pseudotolerance have convinced us that it is unloving and unkind and even un-Christian to make any kind of moral or spiritual judgment. And they often quote the words of Jesus. “After all,” they say, “didn’t Jesus say, ‘Judge not lest you be judged’?”

Let’s look at what Jesus actually said. In Matthew 7 Jesus was talking to the Pharisees. The Pharisees were religious leaders who came up with strict regulations for how people ought to behave, although they were unwilling to live by those regulations themselves. Jesus was pointing out their hypocrisy. He was saying don’t judge other people to make yourself look better to God and to others. But Jesus did not say not to make any judgment at all. He said, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 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? 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? 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” (Matthew 7:1–5).

If you see sin in another believer’s life that is causing him trouble, that is causing bad things in his life, you need to help him out because you care for him. But remember what Jesus said: before you try to help another person with sin in his life, take your blindfold off. Examine your own life first of all, to ensure you are ready to perform the operation. Take that beam, that two-by-four, out of your own eye. That is what Jesus is talking about here. Jesus did not say we should never make any judgment at all, because true tolerance requires making a judgment.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Most Misunderstood Word in America” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission