Dutch manufacturer Vanmoof’s bicycle business was really growing but unfortunately many bicycles were damaged during shipping. Creative director Bex Rad wrote on the company’s blog, “Earlier this year our co-founder Ties had a flash of genius. Our boxes are about the same size as a (really really reaaaally massive) flatscreen television. Flatscreen televisions always arrive in perfect condition. What if we just printed a flatscreen television on the side of our boxes? “And just like that, shipping damage to our bikes dropped by 70–80%.” Apparently the shipping company assumed, by the picture on the box, there was an expensive TV inside.
How many times do we assume a person’s worth just by looking on the outside? “ The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) We cannot truly know a person without opening their “box.” It is only as we discover what is on the inside that we see a person’s worth and true value.
I am amazed at the number of people in our churches that are Biblically illiterate. People often quote [or misquote] a verse from the Bible trying to make it say something far from what it was trying to convey. An urban legend is a story or piece on information told as true. In misapplying scripture, we make it a Christian Urban Legend. A phrase that has been used countless times during contentious conversations or in defensive moments when someone is confronted about their behavior: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” These famous words from Jesus are recited by many but profoundly misunderstood. Many use this verse to justify living as they please without any regard for moral boundaries or accountability.
The context of this passage, Matthew 7:1-5, clearly teaches we cannot “judge” people of a certain sin or behavior, if we are also guilty of that same sin. Jesus said a greater judgment is reserved for the one who has purposefully overlooked his own mammoth sin while pointing out the smaller sins of others.
The Bible makes it clear that it is our duty to encourage one another on to live lives that please God. A closer study of Scripture commands us to judge – hold people accountable for their behavior.
- My friends, if someone is caught in any kind of wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should set him right; but you must do it in a gentle way. Galatians 6:1
- My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins James 5:19-20
- It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.1 Cor. 5:12
“Jesus does not forbid all moral judgment or accountability. Rather, he forbids harsh, prideful, and hypocritical judgment that condemns others outright without first evaluating one’s own spiritual condition and commitment to forsake sin.” — The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric Bargerhuff, PhD