Are we uncharitable and critical of our brothers and sisters? Do we bite and devour each other and thus harm the Kingdom of God? Thomas Brooks helps us out:
‘Judge yourselves, and you shall not be judged of the Lord’ (1 Cor. 11:31).
Judge Yourself More
Ah! Were Christians’ hearts more taken up in judging themselves and condemning themselves, they would not be so apt to judge and censure others, and to carry it sourly and bitterly towards others that differ from them.
There are no souls in the world that are so fearful to judge others as those that do most judge themselves, nor so careful to make a righteous judgment of men or things as those that are most careful to judge themselves. There are none in the world that tremble to think evil of others, to speak evil of others, or to do evil to others, as those that make it their business to judge themselves. There are none that make such sweet constructions and charitable interpretations of men and things, as those that are best and most in judging themselves.
Meditate on These:
One request I have to you that are much in judging others and little in judging yourselves, to you that are so apt and prone to judge harshly, falsely, and unrighteously, and that is, that you will every morning dwell on these scriptures:
‘Judge not, that you not be judged; for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and with what measure you use, it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt. 7:1-2).
‘Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment’ (John 7:24).
‘Let him that does not eat judge not him that eats, for God hath received him. Why do you judge your brother? (Rom. 14:3, 10, 13).
‘We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. Let us not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block in his brother’s way. Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will manifest the counsels of the heart, and then shall every man have praise of God’ (1 Cor. 4:5)
‘Speak not evil one of another, brethren: he that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy (James 4:11-12).
‘Who are you that judges another man’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls; yes, he shall be held up, for God is able to make him stand. (Rom. 14:4).
-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devises, 208-209.