“When some fellow yields to temptation and breaks a conventional law,
We look for no good in his make-up, but God how we look for a flaw;
No one will ask, “How tempted?” nor allow for the battles he’s fought.
His name becomes food for the jackals, for us who have never been caught.

He has sinned, we shout from the housetops, we forget the good that he’s done.
We center on one lost battle, and forget the times he has won.
“Come gaze on the sinner,” we thunder “and by his examples be taught.
That his footsteps lead to destruction,” cry we who have never been caught.

I’m a sinner, O Lord, and I know it.  I’m weak, I blunder and fail.
I’m tossed on life’s stormy ocean, like ships embroiled in a gale.
I’m willing to trust in Thy mercy. To keep the commandments Thou has taught.
But, deliver me, Lord, from the judgment of saints who have never been caught.”

       From book, “Prison Is My Parish” – Story of Park Tucker, Chaplain

  What a powerful bit of verse.  We have lots of sayings that state about the same thing.  Such as: “People in glass houses, should not throw stones.” “When you point a finger at people you have three fingers pointing back at you.”  “Only thing you get when you throw mud is dirty hands.”  “You can’t whitewash yourself by painting others black.” 

  Jesus said in Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”   I believe the judgment that Jesus is speaking of here is determining the final destiny of a human being.  It is not up to us to decide the eternal destination of any one.  But, we are to judge people’s actions.  Jesus said, “By their fruit you shall know them.”  (Matthew 7:20) We are to be fruit inspectors.

  Judging others is such a past time for many of us.  Someone said, “the only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions.”  We tear others down in order to make ourselves look better.  Our judgment is so lacking in the spirit of truth or love. We look on the outside of man, while only God can see the heart. This statement by Jesus really cuts me to the quick. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.”  Matthew 7:2
Do I really want to be judged with the same prejudice, premature, partial knowledge that I am using about others?  Of course not.
Jesus strikes home at the heart of the matter when He said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye. How can you say to your brother, ‘let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:3-5  

  We have no need to judge, God will take care of that for us.  Jesus encourages discernment, but warns against allowing it to make us a critical, judgemental, condemning person.  This we must not do.             We know that the only perfect person was and is Jesus, and we are not Him.  The sinless One came to wipe away the sins of the sinful.  He gave His life to make possible the forgiveness of our sins.


  1. Dear Max, I really appreciate this one ! I pray I am not guilty of jumping to conclutions ! Also I am glad you enjoyed teaching in the men’s class today. I know they enjoyed some new blood in there !
    Praying for you as you Serve HIM ,

  2. Max ,. As always I enjoy your devotionals and I am so glad that you are still sending these out each week. I know they touch so many and people need to hear these encouraging words.
    May God continue to bless you as you serve in this way!
    Your wife,and #1 Fan Joann

  3. Many divisions in the church are caused by judging others which in turn then becomes gossip. Where is the love of the Christians? I ‘m glad fhat you reminded us of the sin of judging. We need to be reminded of Christ as the only judge. It is easy to look at others and think why are they not doing thus and so for the kingdom. Maybe that is fruit inspection! We then can encorage them to work for the furtherence of the Gospel. Still it is by God’s mercy and grace that any of us can be saved…

  4. Dear Max: Just this Sunday our Sunday School Class had a discussion on the judgement of sinners, specifically those who have done great harm to others, or even the Jews. Your devotional, so appropriate and timely, will the last word on the subject next Sunday! Luther and I love your devotionals. Thanks again.

  5. Bro. Max,
    Excellent article as always. Jesus was saying in Matthew 7:1,5 that we should not seek to correct a person when we are guilty of the same or another offense. We need to deal with our own sin, and then we can help someone else. He never intended that His disciples should set aside all exercise of discernment. Later in the same message Jesus said “Watch out for false prophets…A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit…thus by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matt.7:15,20) Through an examination and knowledge of God’s Word we may then discern the quality of another’s worth and deeds. However, keep in mind that ultimately God alone knows the motives and intent of a person’s heart! It is also important to consider the spirit in which we seek to correct someone
    else. Even if we are not guilty of the same offense, we have been guilty enough of other offenses. We need to judge or correct another in a spirit of love, compassion and humility as Galatians 6:1,2 says.

  6. It blows me away that a preacher should try to take
    credit for a poem written by a prostitute poet
    from Russian decades ago. I have had it since my college days and when I find my original copy I can give you the name so your can look her up. If you are really a true
    man of God, the origin should not make a difference to you.

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