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Women World Leaders' Podcast

Nov 1, 2023

Where is the line between discernment and judgment? How do we determine our own response in distressing situations? And how important is it to God that we treat others well? Join us as we explore Matthew 7:1-6, Mark 4:24-25, and Luke 6:37-42, focusing on the truth that God’s job is to judge, and our job is to love.


Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders podcast. My name is Julie Jenkins, and I'm honored to be walking through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John with you as we ask God to teach us what He wants us to know today.

Well, this has been a busy week at Women World Leaders. Before the pandemic hit, this ministry operated primarily in South Florida. We actually began meeting at our founder's home until we outgrew that, and then we met at a local church. When things changed across the world due to COVID, we sought God's heart for direction and, like many, moved to a more digital platform. What the devil meant for evil, God meant for good. Through the pandemic, God has put the world into Women World Leaders, we are now truly a global ministry reaching over 60 countries. When most of the world was slowing down, even taking a break, God had us moving at warp speed.

This week alone, I have been on Zoom calls with authors, writers, prayer warriors, artists, photographers, actresses, speakers, educators, musicians, and financial and business experts from Florida to California to Virginia, to Australia to India. And it's only Wednesday. Although we are distant from each other, Women World Leaders is a personal ministry, and we want to personally invite you to join us. If God is calling you to share your gifts with a hungry world. Reach out to us at The more workers that come, the greater the harvest will be.

Well let's jump into the Word of God, shall we?

Women World Leaders are founded on the Word and prayer. We don't take that lightly. And we're so glad you've joined us today for our deep dive into Matthew 7:1-6. Mark 4:24-25, And Luke 6:37-42, as we study the Principles for Judgment. Let me pray before we begin.

Dear Most Holy God. Thank you for giving us this time to come to you today. God, I don't know what each person listening is walking through today or what she needs to learn. But you do. Thank you for being with her and meeting her where she is. God, open our ears to hear your voice. Open our eyes to see your glory and open our hearts that we might be changed to look just a little more like you today. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Well, as I've studied this scripture, I had a difficult time titling it because the first verse we're looking at from Matthew seven says do not judge others. And yet that is not the end of the sentence nor the end of Jesus' teaching.

We know or should know that God is the ultimate judge. But boy, do we often have judgy feelings? Am I wrong?

I believe that being judgmental of others is probably one of my biggest sins. And one of my problems is that I often feel justified in being judgmental because the world is full of sin and I want to do my best to not step in that sin.

Bear with me here on this analogy. I have two dogs, and as you can imagine, they use our backyard as a bathroom. When I walk through the backyard, I have to judge where I walk. So I don't end up with something I don't want on my shoe, or worse yet on my bare foot. In life, it's important for us to judge where we walk, what teaching we listen to, who we allow to speak into our lives, what activities we participate in. This requires us to make judgments for our own good, and yet we are to not be judgy of others. This can be a difficult line to draw because it seems like judging where we walk can lead to judging others.

So as judgment and some form is necessary, I've titled this Principles for Judgment. And as we go through the text, we will see that Jesus teaches us three principles for judgment.

We are to be conscientious, discerning, and full of grace.

Walk with me as we begin reading from Matthew chapter seven, verse one in the New Living Translation,

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged, for you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Only God has a say in our final judgment.

So Jesus is talking about our daily sizing up of each other and he says, Don't do it. Essentially, don't check tear each other down. We must instead be conscientious of our own thoughts and actions. We need to examine ourselves and try to do what is right.

This is so difficult, it takes processing. Oh, we can be pretty darn good about processing someone else's actions. But how much time do we take to process our own thoughts and actions?

Let's pop over to Luke 6, verse 37, where it is recorded that Jesus takes this a step further.

Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you.

We are not to judge others, and we are certainly not to condemn them. God's job is to judge. But this doesn't mean that we are to put our heads in the sand and naively trust everyone. We are not to judge or condemn others, but we are to be discerning.

God calls us to be aware and to use discernment as we partner with others in any relationship, from marriage to ministry or to simply who you spend your time with. But this scripture reminds us while we must be responsible with whom we trust and walk with, it is not our place to condemn anyone. That job is only the Lord's. Only the Lord knows each person's heart and motives.

So what if someone is letting you down repeatedly? Only God knows what she's going through. Our job is to discern what God wants our involvement to be. And to always show grace through love as God leads.

We get to love. God will judge.

Jesus takes us a step further, not only must we not condemn others, but we must forgive them. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. This can be difficult, and how to forgive is a teaching unto itself. But for now, we must recognize that although we discern sin in another, even if God asks us to call that sin out in love, we must offer grace through forgiveness.

We get to love. God will judge.

Jesus goes on to say that this grace-filled love means we also get to share what we have with others. Our wisdom, gift,s time, and yes, grace and love. Luke 6:38

Give and you will receive your gift will return to you in full pressed down shaken together to make room for more running over and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

This visual would have been powerful for Jesus’ listeners who were used to purchasing grain that was measured out. Imagine purchasing green By the cup. Picture the merchant using a cup to scoop up the grain and pour it into another container. Some may fall out in the process, but it's still a legal cup. The generous merchant, however, would scoop the grain, put his hand over the top, and press it down. Then shake it a bit. So every space was filled. And then he would top it off so that it is actually running over. Is that how you and I give? Do we give the minimum out of duty? Or are we intentionally generous? When someone harms you, are you intentionally generous with grace and forgiveness? When you see a need, how do you conscientiously choose to fill the cup, just enough to call it legal or generously, pressed down, shaken together, and running over? Something to think about?

Verse 39,

Then Jesus gave the following illustration, can one blind person lead another? Won't they both fall into a ditch? Students are not greater than their teacher, but the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.

 We are all becoming, and who we become is often a reflection of who we follow. We must carefully discern who God is asking us to follow and learn from and who we are to stay away from.

We get to love, God will judge; but God gives us wisdom to discern who we will personally follow.

Mark records that Jesus expands on this teaching and Mark 4 verses 24 and 25.

Then he added, pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given and you will receive more to those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given to those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.

We must conscientiously choose to listen to God and follow His teaching. We are all growing, and we are all learning. I've heard it explained that the Christian life is like an onion, we learn one layer at a time. Each time we read scripture, do a Bible study, hear a devotion, go to church and listen to a message. God helps us go a little bit deeper into his teachings. He doesn't expect us to get it all right away, or even in this lifetime. But he does expect us to pay close attention. The closer we listen, the better we will understand. But if we choose to not listen, our understanding will regress. We must look inward and examine our growth conscientiously, giving ourselves love and grace along the way even as we mess up.

Next, Jesus gives a parable you no doubt heard from Matthew seven, verse three.

And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye, when you can't see past the log in your own? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye then you will see well enough to deal with this back in your friends eye.

this visual must have made the disciples giggle, picturing a man with a log in his eye. But here was Jesus' point. We must never be so worried about someone else's actions that we're not aware of our own. In other words, we must be conscientious not condemning. Our purpose on this earth is to help others back to the illustration. We cannot help others if we cannot see clearly. The eye is delicate. We would only trust a very careful surgeon to work on our eyes. I can remember getting LASIK surgery nearly 20 years ago. I can honestly say there aren't many times I've prayed as hard for someone as I prayed for that surgeon as I laid there awake with my eyes wide open as he was about to cut into my eye. I would not have begun to trust him if he had impaired vision himself, let alone a log in his eye.

Flight Attendants tell us to, in case of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first, so that you will be clear-headed and able to help others.

Likewise, we must conscientiously get the log out of our own eye before we, with grace, help someone else with a speck of dirt in theirs.

Our job is to love God will judge.

But we also must be discerning even as we help others. Verse six says

Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs. They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

We should witness to whoever God calls us to. But we must be discerning in how we spend our time. Our time is finite, we only have 24 hours in a day. And let's face it, there are people you can talk to until you are blue in the face and they still will not listen to what you have to say. Sometimes being discerning means we need to walk away from someone who has a hard heart. But we still love, which is our job. As we pray, and trust God, who knows far more than we do, how to handle the situation. He, after all, is the judge.

God is the judge we are not.

And as we go to him conscientiously seeking His wisdom for ourselves, he will give us discernment of where and how to walk. And just like he showers us with grace, He has given us permission to share grace as well. We don't have to judge. He's got it all under control.

Dear heavenly Father, how amazingly gracious you are to us that you take the burden of judgment. God, I pray, especially right now, for anyone listening who is walking through a minefield God give her a discerning heart, that she might know where to stop and where not to stop, who to walk towards, and who to walk away from. Awake us each that we might conscientiously choose to follow your leading in every circumstance, as we stand for truth, showing grace and love to others by your power. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.