Abundant Living: Navigating Life in a City

February 20, 2024

Series: Abundant Living

Book: Matthew

This sermon is part of our Abundant Living series. You can watch more here.


Sermon manuscript:

The passage we are going to look at this morning is focused on being judgmental toward others, so what better place to talk about being judgmental than in the local church in 2024. 10 years ago, being judgmental was only associated with the local church.

Outside the church people were live and let live. People would say things like, “Who am I to judge?” But in 2020 we had this rush of DEI training (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) in the corporate level, educational level, so that people today are just itching to judge. Right?

We judge parents at the grocery store. We judge people for their political views. We judge people riding in the bicycle lane and people in the bicycle lane judge people in the cars. Its wild out there!

Before DEI we thought only certain groups were judgmental but now we know we are judging one another at all times. Did you know we are judging consciously and unconsciously? It’s impossible! We are judging one another so much we don’t even know we are judging one another.

Of course, we are judging one another for our ethnicity. Of course, we are judging one another for being male or female. We are judging corporations for being too greedy and we are judging people poorer than us for making us feel bad.

Illustrations: This weekend we had our Men’s Retreat. It was great. We had men committing time to Jesus, time with one another and we managed to squeeze in a push up competition.

And who knew there were so many opinions about how to do a push up. Width of hands, position of elbows, how far down is far enough to count. Judgy-judgertons everywhere! Needless to say, I dominated the push-up competition.

But what do we do with people being so judgmental? We’re about to enter a presidential election cycle. What are we going to do? Our culture tells us we need to be tolerant of one another. Doesn’t that sound nice? I really tolerate you.

This morning we are going to see God’s Word meet us in our place of judgment and God’s Word is going to give us something better than tolerance. Let’s look at Matthew 7:1:

Matthew 7:1, “1 Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”

Now, when we hear the word “judge” we need to make sure we are all on the same page. When Jesus uses the phrase “do not judge” in verse 1 He doesn’t mean blind acceptance of all things, no matter what.

In verse 5 Jesus is going to identify hypocrites. That takes judgment. Does that make sense? In verse 15 Jesus identifies “false prophets.” Showing judgment isn’t horrible. The judgment being called out in Matthew 7 is a judgment to lift ourselves up and put others down. Does that make sense? It is a judgment of spotting flaws in others and enjoy pointing them out.

If I am drinking alcohol to a place of drunkenness and I say to you, “Let’s go for a drive.” You should definitely show judgment and not get in the car. That’s good judgment. But when you speak to me about my drunkenness, call me names, put me down and laugh while doing it, then that’s not good judgment. You with me? Let’s look at verse 2:

Matthew 7:2, “2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

In the context of the passage the religious leaders were misusing their spiritual influence in the community so that their judgment was coming across as critical and hurtful toward other people.

Can you imagine if that was our culture in our church family? Can you imagine our elders walking past people in our church family and saying, “Hey, what you are wearing is out of fashion.” That would be weird.

Imagine what that would do to our relationships if our elders were saying things like, “I noticed you at dinner last night. I think you could have stayed home and used that money in better ways.”

What would happen? We would walk on egg-shells around one another, right? We would stop coming, probably. But sometimes we can swing to the other end of the spectrum as well. Sometimes we can be so concerned against hurting feelings that we don’t say anything, because we don’t want to come across as mean-spirited.


Neither one of these responses are good. Sometimes we see one another hurting ourselves, stepping on social landmines, damaging our marriage, hurting our relationship with our kids and we never say anything.

We tell ourselves, “It’s not my place. Who am I to get involved?” Then when someone’s life starts to fall apart we whisper under our breath, ““Saw that coming a mile away.” What do we do? The answer isn’t to establish secret police who walks around slapping everyone’s wrist every time there is an offense. We repurpose the Hello Team to keep track of who shows up late and how many minutes. Then the Hello Team follows up with a list of grievances after every Sunday worship. We don’t want to see one another and not say anything.

Matthew 7:1, “1 Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

Therefore, when Jesus says, “Do not judge” in verses 1-2 it isn’t that Jesus wants us to be indifferent toward one another, but more so Jesus is teaching us how are relationships with one another are strengthened in His kingdom.

Remember, Jesus is talking about life in His kingdom compared to our earthly kingdoms. In our earthly kingdoms, we judge one another all the time, but in His kingdom, the attitude toward our judgment changes. Write that down in your notes. In Christ, my attitude toward judgment is different in His kingdom.

It’s why Jesus gives us this phrase “standard of measure” in verse 2. Do you see that phrase in verse 2? This is a little abstract but a person’s “standard of measure” is the means by which they see themselves. If we see ourselves as the top standard, it is going to shape the spirit by which we judge. Does that make sense?

The religious leaders had a high view of themselves. They were walking around and looking down on others. They were covered in robes, titles and tassels so as to give the appearance of authority; therefore, it shaped their attitude in how they looked and talk to people.

But when we are in His Kingdom, the standard of measure changes, right? The standard of measure in His kingdom is perfection. Does that make sense? And all of humanity has fallen short of His perfection, so in His kingdom we don’t walk around looking down on people.

How could we? We’re all sinners in need of a Savior! The only reason we are in His kingdom is because we admit we have fallen short of His standard, and this changes the attitude by which we speak to one another. Right?

Are we indifferent toward one another? Are we insufferable toward one another? No, we are fellow recipients of His grace, therefore, we are gentle toward one another. Look at verses 3-5:

Matthew 7:3-5, “3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

I highlighted the words to show repetition. Repetition shows importance. In verses 3-5 we see the word “Speck” which is a piece of dust or particle of wood floating through the air until it lands in someone’s eye. Right?

But the “Log” is a large stick or a really a large beam in someone’s eye, so that I am not sure if Jesus is being funny but we would read verses 3-5 and think, “How could someone with a large log in his eye possibly help someone with a speck in his eye?”

Illustration: Can you imagine you are outside one day working in the yard and a little speck gets wedged into your eye? You try to wash it out but it doesn’t get any better so you go to the optometrist and as the optometrist walks up to your chair they have this huge log sticking out of their eyes. You would run, right?

In the same way, in verses 3-5, Jesus is speaking to our relationships with one another to remember none of are speaking from a place of superiority. In Christ, we all have huge logs in our eye. Jesus is the only One with clear sight. Does that make sense?

That doesn’t mean we never say anything to anyone. We need help from one another. We need to be challenging one another to get into God’s Word every day. We need to encourage one another to consider our challenge of fasting and prayer over the next 6-weeks. We need to support one another in our parenting. We need to challenge one another on how we spend money.

Let’s talk about it practically: Lets imagine ourselves at lunch today over at Dos Batos, and one of the husbands around the table makes a snarky comment about his wife being gone for this weekend. What do you do? Do you say something?

Maybe not? Maybe this is the first time you have heard the husband say something hurtful about his wife, so in the moment you extend grace assuming the best about one another. We don’t want secret police who calls out our every offense. We want to err on the side of grace toward one another.

But, lets imagine you continue to hear these hurtful comments about his wife again and again and again. Do we say anything? Do we just get in the car and say, “Sucks to be that wife!”

No, we reach out to the husband. Listen to me, in all our relationships we want to be gracious with one another but if you see something over and over and over, say something. Make a phone call. Don’t text. Set up a lunch. In person is always better. But when we speak to one another we season our words with gentleness and grace.

Because we too are sinners. We too speak harshly to our spouses. We too are vulnerable to temptation. We too have been shown immeasurable grace by our Heavenly Father, therefore, how could we not extend that same grace toward one another? You with me?
Let’s look at verse 6:

Matthew 7:6, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

Verse 6 is a bit cryptic, so lean in with me. It would be common to understand verse 6 as a rebuke toward those who aren’t teachable. The dog and pig were unclean animals, therefore, don’t waste your pearls on someone who isn’t teachable. Have you heard this? Maybe?

But I think Jesus’ words in verse 6 are for the false teachers who leads people astray. In verses 1-5 we are to be gentle and gracious with our words as we all help one another grow in Christ but there are some who are “dogs and pigs” who intend to lead people away from Christ.

Listen to me, this isn’t the person who misunderstands God’s Word and accidently says the wrong thing. This is the person who is intentionally trying to lead people away from Jesus. Does that make sense?

If you scan down to verse 15 Jesus gives a warning for the “false prophet” because sometimes there are men and women who are intentionally lead people away from faith alone in Christ.

There are people on social media who will tell you the Apostle Paul and Jesus represent two different gospels. That’s a lie. There are people who will tell you Jesus is just a good guy who came to show us love. That’s a lie. There are people who will tell you Donald Trump is a prophet of God. That’s a lie. We don’t want to be gentle and gracious with these people.

Illustration: I had someone walk in our building last year and he was telling these stories of how people in the church have been hurtful to him, judging him, not returning his phone calls and emails and as we talked he said, “Jesus isn’t God, Jesus is the Son of God.”

I said, hold on, “What?” He said, “Jesus never claimed to be God, just the Son of God.” I said, first, “That’s not true.” Second, you just told these stories of how people in the church have hurt you. He said, “Yeah.” I said, “They aren’t hurting you. They don’t agree with you.” There’s a difference. Does that make sense?

He said, “Yeah.” Then I said, “You keep calling me brother, but you can’t call me brother, because we aren’t brothers in Christ.” You’re presenting another gospel where we disagree, so that in those moments, we can be nice but more than being nice, we want to be clear. We want to be firm. You with me?

Now, more than ever we need to be clear on the gospel. We need to speak the gospel over our spouses. We need to clarify the gospel with our children. We work with people who use Jesus words and bible words but they don’t know the good news of Jesus, so that we are gentle with one another but firm with ravenous wolves trying to lead people astray.

As we close, let’s invite the worship team to the stage. Let’s lower the lights. Let’s prepare our hearts to respond in the celebration of communion. Communion is a reminder of our relationship with God and our relationships with one another.


North Village Church

This sermon is brought to you by North Village Church, a non-denominational church in Austin. established in 2009 and built around Jesus and Bible teaching.

Are you looking for a church in Austin? At North Village Church we put Jesus at the center of our church family. We worship together every Sunday at 10:30am, encourage Christ centered fellowship through groups, and host special events such as Bible studies and Theological Training, to ensure that we are rooted in in God’s Word. We also serve our local community in association with several Austin based organizations.

North Village Church is made up of professionals, married couples, singles, and families who are wanting to experience the life-transforming power of Jesus. If you are a family with children or teens, we can support you with either or both our Kids Ministry and Youth Ministry.

Check out our North Village Church calendar highlights such as our Christmas Eve Service and Easter Sunday Service.

You are welcome to contact us if you would like more information.


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