1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things (Romans 2).
H.A. Ironside related an incident in the life of a man called Bishop Potter. “He was sailing for Europe on one of the great transatlantic ocean liners. When he went on board, he found that another passenger was to share the cabin with him. After going to see the accommodations, he came up to the purser's desk and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship's safe. He explained that ordinarily he never availed himself of that privilege, but he had been to his cabin and had met the man who was to occupy the other berth. Judging from his appearance, he was afraid that he might not be a very trustworthy person. The purser accepted the responsibility for the valuables and remarked, ‘It’s all right, bishop, I’ll be very glad to take care of them for you. The other man has been up here and left his for the same reason!’” — from Our Daily Bread.
The word judge is krino, and the word condemn is krino with the preposition kata before it, giving the idea of motion downward, thus to bring down. When we pass judgment on others (and we are usually very quick to do so), we end up condemning ourselves, bringing ourselves down. Yet, notice that in verse three it speaks only of God’s judgment, yet nothing about condemnation. Yes, the Righteous Judge will eventually condemn all who are outside His grace, along with every sin not covered by the Blood of the Lamb — but He is not quick to do so. He condemned our sins on Calvary, but holds back condemnation until the final condemnation of those going down into the Lake of Fire.
Lord, I thank You that the only judgment awaiting us concerns rewards, not punishment. Thank You that all our sins have already been condemned on Calvary, and that the only condemnation we will ever have is what we bring to ourselves when judging others. Forgive us for being so quick to judge others, and for being so slow to judge our own actions. Help us This Day to be people, not of judgment, but of grace — quickly showing Your kindness to those around us. Amen.