History is full on instances of mistaken judgments.  Here are a few examples.  Nuclear energy is not obtainable. (Einstein)  Marconi’s radio has no future. (Italian government official)  X-rays will prove a hoax. (Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society)  I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.  (Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM 1943)

Those are interesting but relatively harmless instances of mistaken judgments.  They are not the kind of judgments Jesus tells his disciples to avoid.  (Matthew 7: 1-5) The gospel passage makes it clear the judgments to be avoided are those which condemn, which assign fault and blame.

Making judgments cannot be avoided.  Judging is a central activity of the human mind.  The act of judging is an essential part of the reasoning process which characterizes us as superior to animals.  We make judgments all the time about things we experience and the way things are.  The kind of judgments Jesus warns against are hard to avoid.  Our judgments about others often include imputing motives and finding fault.  That seems to be a common human weakness.

I suspect my own experience is not uncommon. It is not unusual to find in retrospect that I have been wrong in my judgment of others, that I have made what is called a “rash judgment.”  Yet I continue to make the same mistake.  Perhaps that is why someone expressed the opinion that Jesus’ urging his followers to avoid such judgments is one the things he advised that is most consistently ignored.

Several reasons can be cited why one should avoid judging others.

1. We never know all the facts or the whole person.
2. It is almost impossible to be strictly impartial and completely objective.  We all                      have our predilections and prejudices.
3. Only those without fault have the right to look for faults in others.  Recall the         biblical  image.  How can you see the splinter in your brother’s eye when you have a log in your own?

Jesus gives a very practical, you might say selfish, motive for avoiding critical judgment of others. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged, because the judgments you give are the judgments you will get, and the standard you use will be the standard used for you.