Jesus proclaims something in this verse that is quite sobering. When we sit down with Jesus in heaven to learn the lessons we failed to learn in this life, and have our life’s work evaluated, the “tape measure” Jesus will use is the one we sent ahead. The standard will have been set based on the measure by which we had judged other people. If we hold them to a strict standard, then Jesus will hold us to a strict standard. If we are lenient with others, giving them grace, so will Jesus be with us.
Once the truth of this verse sinks in, we ought to be reluctant to judge others. We should hope Jesus pulls out our “tape measure” and says “What do you know, there’s no tape inside this thing. Guess you did great.”
The key to properly judging others is to stand in their shoes. Everyone has a story. We can only learn their story by listening. We tend to put a higher standard on others than on ourselves. We tend to be very good at standing in our own shoes, but not too competent at standing in the shoes of others.
When we have the humility to hear what others are saying, we might discover things within ourselves that need cleansing. Listening to God is essential for character development, self-awareness, and growth. When we view others to learn from them rather than to judge them, we gain a double benefit. We live with greater wisdom and understanding, and we shrink the measure by which we will be measured.