Matt. 7:1-6 – The Difference Between Being Judgmental & Discernment
This doesn’t seem to be so much a prohibition against our capacity to use judgment as much as a reminder or warning to be consistent and self-aware when judging or assisting another. “Whatever is good for the goose is good for the gander.” For me, it’s another reminder that the Christian life is not lived as a solitary individual locked away in ones castle, but amidst a community of believers. And in such an environment it is essential to understand that there has to be balance between our personal character and the “wisdom” we intend to share with those around us. Great caution, self-awareness and an attitude that listens first before imposing our “insight” onto another.
The passage ends by taking things a step further, cautioning the believer to use a certain level of common sense when it comes to sharing important/sacred things (like the gospel). It isn’t about classifying some people out there as “dogs” or “pigs” The point is to use some wisdom when sharing precious things. Those who cannot hear it, or are not in a receptive place might tolerate the message. But, to use the metaphor, ignoring this and applying continued use is going to irritate the pig and make the dog want to bite the hand trying to feed it.
In both cases, words of advice or judgement within the community and sharing outside the community, a certain level of wisdom is prescribed. JBB