Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. ~~Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)
If you have walked any time in the Christian life, you’ve heard this scripture. But there is more here than meets the eye. Read how The Message paraphrases it.
Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
We need to be very careful when judging others. We may not have all the facts. Lori Hatcher makes that point in her recent blog post entitled Don’t Judge My Liquor Boxes.
This does not mean, however, that we are to suspend all judgment. It merely means that we are to quit judging others. Judging right from wrong helps keep us – that’s US in capital letters – on track.
Our measuring tape is the Bible. It sets forth right and wrong in clear and absolute terms. Do we have the moxie to uphold these Biblical standards? I hope so.
Help us to see the difference between judging and being judgmental. Help us to see right and wrong in actions without ascribing fault to others. Grant us wisdom with our knowledge.
In Jesus’ most precious name.