So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Colossians 2:16-19 NKJV
Judge not and you won’t be judged is what Jesus said in Matthew 7:1. The Bible says a lot about judging. Here’s a few verses to think about regarding judging:
- Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. “
- John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
- Romans 14:13 “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”
- 1 Corinthians 11:31 “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”
Look at today’s verse again. It says “let no one judge you.” How can we control what others think about us? I don’t think that’s what Paul’s trying to say. I see two possible scenarios:
1. Let your own behavior be such, that you can not be accused of wrong doing.
2. After examining ourselves to ensure we are following Christ in all we do, say and think, when others judge us, we should let their criticisms fall to the floor. Do not take their judgment into our being and let affect us.
We are judged by a higher standard than mere man’s opinion of us. God is the only righteous One who can judge justly. No one knows our motives better than God. So it’s best to leave it up to God to judge appropriately.
In the rest of today’s verse, Paul talks about false humility, busy-bodies, proud people who may try to appear godly but actually deny Christ inwardly. This has been going on for centuries. Second Peter 2:1 says “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” Sadly, it is still true today.
There are people who say they are Christian, but after looking for fruit of the Spirit in their lives, you can find none. While we are not to judge others, we are asked to be fruit inspectors. Look at what Luke 6:44 says: “For every tree is known by its own fruit.” By checking out the fruit, we will have a better idea whether someone is authenticate or not. Remember, it’s not us who determines who is a “real” Christian or not. That’s God’s job.
Paul is simply encouraging the Colossians to be wise among these types of people and instructing them not listen to their advice or criticism for that matter, for the truth is not in them as evidenced by lack of spiritual fruit in their lives.
So rather than judge someone regarding the lack of fruit in their lives, why not make it an opportunity to pray for them to receive knowledge, understanding and insight of God’s marvelous love for them, that they may receive it and experience the joy of the Lord, which will compel them to begin walking by the Spirit and not by the flesh.
The last phrase of today’s verse says “grows with the increase that is from God,” it’s God who does the growing in us. We are mere the servants who plant the seed, or water it (1 Corinthians 3:5-7). It’s God who makes the seed (Word of God) grow in someone’s life.
Lord, there is nothing like Your word. It is sharper than a two-edged sword, able to divide between bone and marrow, and a discerner intents. Thank You for Your Word and it’s power to renew our thoughts. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.