What does Matthew mean, in the Bible, when he says: Matthew 7:1,”Judge not, that you not be judged.” Which I learned many years ago as: “Judge not, least ye be judged.”
And before I jump into trying to explain what Matthew meant, how about John, 7:24, where John says: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” I believe John was suggesting something very important, if we can but comprehend what he was referring to by “right judgement”?
It seems clear to me that all the admonitions in the Bible about “not judging,” are primarily based on the premise that one should not “judge” until one is prepared to do so in a way that is not hypocritical. That is, judging another for some error when you are guilty of things equally sinful… in the sight of others.
I believe the admonition of not judging is just another way of trying to implore each of us to be primarily concerned with one’s own Salvation [and spend time in cleaning ones own MIND] rather than spending ones time focusing outside oneself on people and the evil they do. Life on this Earth is filled with “temptations” for the senses, and for ones intellect [or brain and thinking about the things of this physical plane].
The practice of ‘meditation‘ is not really stressed in much of Christianity today, in fact some types of Christianity denounce meditation as evil, and I am unable to explain how such an idea would be promoted? Meditation, from an Eastern mystical point of view is merely seeking to rise above ones’s MIND, and to focus ones attention on one’s Spirituality. A basic study of the MIND explains this, but the MIND is not studied in education or mental health today.
In case you have not noticed this yourself, the habit of the MIND is to focus one’s attention on people, places and things outside of oneself. And making judgements about people certainly serves the MIND, as it keeps ones attention focused outside oneself.
So, the best way to not be “filled with judgment” is to not judge others. Unless one can learn what John advised in 7:14, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” And I believe what John meant was to simply realize that when a person is involved in some act of evil, recognize the evil, and be thankful that you are not a part of that evil. Focus Within, in other words. Praising God that you are not involved in such evil yourself. And cling to thanking God for protecting you from evil.
I personally find it very helpful to differentiate the outside [mammon] from my inside Spirituality. It is helpful if one has a saying of some kind that helps focus one Within oneself. At least take a moment to close one’s eyes, and say a word of thankfulness for the Grace of God that helps us resist evil.