Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Matthew 7:1-2—NIV)

There is some confusion in our day of PC thinking that has even befuddled believers as to their role of being salt and light to their world. There is a transgenerational shyness to be uncategorical in evaluating behaviors and communicating God’s absolutes to others. Believers have carefully sought to shed the label of being "judgmentalist" and in so doing have lost their voice of opposition to evil. Even these verses have been employed against someone who honestly seeks to reflect the shining values of His Savior out into the darkness.

These verses indeed prove the opposite position. They are filled with humility, balance, service, and protection. The context, in concert with the rest of Scripture, upholds a godly ideal of discernment.

First, the verb for judge means to act the part of final judge, to condemn, to execute judgment upon. This is the rightful place of the Creator rather than the created. He is the Judge and expresses such both by His revealed place in time and eternity and by His dictums. It is the obligation of all men to know what pleases Him and obey Him.

However, "how shall they hear without a preacher?" There is a need to communicate His truth to a lost world which certainly cannot think straight in their state of spiritual blindness. The Christian is not the final judge and jury, God has been, is, and will be. So what is a Christian to do? Obediently discern with humility, balance, service and protection.

Verse two teaches the humility principle—be sure to be consistent in the application of God’s judgment. Punctiliously do away with double standards such as "do as I say, not as I do." Remember that the Word is a sharp, two-edged sword. Jesus commanded in John 7:24 to judge righteous judgment.

The second principle is of balance. Apply God’s judgment first to yourself. Allow God’s Word to judge your life and measure your life accordingly. Not for the purpose of false pride, but for the simple purpose of being useful to Him. Practice righteousness and so prove that you are indeed His. 1 John 3:7 says, "Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous."

Thirdly, use your discernment for service to mankind. Removing spiritual splinters from spiritual eyes is a valuable service.

Finally, discernment is designed for preservation and protection. Verse six admonishes the believer to not "give what is holy to dogs nor cast your pearls before swine." It is a believer’s duty to God to rightly recognize that dogs and swine exist, and then to identify them as they find them in order that the believer not receive harm and loss of what is precious.

Let God’s Word reveal His judgments and do not be afraid to trumpet His declarations of righteousness with a humble discernment.