This verse and me go a long way back. When I was still in junior school, this verse struck me so much that it was featured in my cross stich work for school. I still have it framed and hanging in my bedroom. I always associated the judgement mentioned in the verse with the judgement of God. Meaning, my primary motive to not judge another unkindly was to save myself unkind judgement from God.
But today, I had a moment of epiphany. I realised that as with all other sins, the sin of rash judgement affects us most. Allow me to explain with an anecdote. Lets say I have been judging my friend for waking up late everyday and I do this everyday. My belief system becomes- oh such a sloth, she is wasting precious time. And now imagine the day or the weeks I begin waking up late. How would I now judge myself? I have done this infact and have be saddled with such a deep sense of self-defeat, guilt and hypocrisy. And I'd also feel terribly sorry for harshly judging my friend whom am supposed to love. Because looking down on someone's failings, by the way, is unloving them. My soul then becomes fertile ground to the temptations for yet another sin of despair or the equally bad sin of self-righteousness.
Therefore our motive to follow Christ's commandment of not judging, and for all the other commandments, should be love. Love for Him and therefore, Love for our neighbour. Not love for our selves and our afterlife. Our righteousness should never be motivated by a shallow desire to stay ahead of some imaginary Kingdom meritocracy list. Our motivation ought to be love.
Now are we, fallen human beings, capable of such genuine love? I say we most certainly are in Christ.
The minute we understand that by our will we cannot be righteous, least of all loving, but that we can do all things in Christ, we become more than overcomers. We become conquerors. Because when I yield my will to Him, it is no longer I but Christ who lives in me. And the Christ who lives in me can do all things perfectly- even genuinely loving my neighbour in my thoughts.