Judge Not – 3 Nephi 14:1-5

1 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he turned again to the multitude, and did open his mouth unto them again, saying: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

This commandment–judge not–is not as simple as it appears on the surface. For example, in the same chapter, the Savior gives us two other commandments which require us to judge other people to some degree:
  1. “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (verse 6).
  2. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits” (verses 15-16).

When I think about my daily decisions, I recognize that many of them rely on some assessment of other people. Who can I trust to fulfill specific assignments at work? Who should I hire to do yard work, to service my car, to babysit my children? The list goes on.
I think that the key is the attitude we bring to those decisions. Clearly the commandment, “Judge not” doesn’t mean, “Don’t make decisions,” or even “Don’t make decisions involving other people.” Instead, I think it means, “Don’t be harsh in your assessments of other people. Be kind. Give them the benefit of the doubt as much as you can. Avoid criticizing others or dwelling on their faults.” 

Two weeks ago, President Thomas S. Monson encouraged us to develop the qualities of “kindness, gratitude, forgiveness, and goodwill.” Then he said:

These qualities will provide for us a spirit which will touch the lives of those around us. It has been my opportunity through the years to associate with countless individuals who possess such a spirit. We experience a special feeling when we are with them, a feeling that makes us want to associate with them and to follow their example. They radiate the Light of Christ and help us feel His love for us (“Be An Example and a Light,” General Conference, October 2015).

Today, I will strive to obey this commandment. I will strive to treat my family, my coworkers, and the other people I interact with, kindly and mercifully, knowing that the way I judge others will ultimately determine the way I will be judged by my Heavenly Father.

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