“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7: 1 – 5; ESV
Who knows what to believe in nowadays? Let’s face it, everyone and everything that we are taught to believe in has flaws; and no one can prove their points effectively. We question everything. We question government leaders, we doubt church leaders, and we’ve lost trust in the leaders in the family because families are so dysfunctional and diverse. We have crooked political officials, hypercritical religious leaders, underhanded educational leaders, and I can go on… right? Our youth are out of control, their parents are more childish than their own kids and everyone is lost. This is what we think, I think…
At least this is what it sounds like when we judge an entire group, community, lifestyle, vocation (or lack of vocation), heritage and more. If you don’t believe me, let me ask you what you think of:
Lawyers Musicians Politicians Wealthy People
Priest/Ministers Police Officers Disabled Individuals Obese/ Skinny People
Inner City Residents People on Welfare Strippers Homosexual/Lesbian
Ex-convicts Actors/Actresses Drugs/Alcohol Addicts Abortionist
People with Tattoos Single-Parent Mothers Bi-racial Relationships Other Religions
Each one of those mentioned bring some sort of emotional reaction, an image comes to mind, a story about a lifestyle, or simply judgment. And we tend to “lump” all who have been a part of these with a label: “All lawyers are crooks.”, “Inner City kids will never amount to anything!” and, “All pastors are greedy.” In fact, you might think that I am “lumping” all of you who are reading this as people who are thinking things that are not true. I am simply sharing various insights shared with me by others.
If we engage in this mindset, we create a great sin unto God and to one another. Sure, we can find fault and failure in EVERY aspect of life; however, not EVERYONE within that group or community is guilty and deserves such judgment. And even if we personally disagree with the select lifestyle in question, do we have the right to dishonor or degrade a person? Have we the right to belittle someone because they are “different” than we are? It almost seems like we draw “battle lines”: Young vs. Elderly, “Straight” vs. Gay, Faith vs. Faith.
There is nothing wrong with having a different belief system or lifestyle than someone else. And even if, as in the case with believers of the Christian faith, their belief system is “sinful” in nature, not a one of us has the right to treat another with contempt of disgrace. We are to treat one another with love and respect. We should agree to disagree. And we should agree to respect. Sadly enough, we try to justify our actions and contempt. And it is here where we sin.
Only God has the right to judge us. We make poor judges. We get things wrong. God is just; even when we disagree with Him. Yet, we consider ourselves to have the ability to do His job. Some are arrogant enough to believe we can do a better job that God because “we know all the details”. God help us!
As the Scriptures above share, we need to be taking a closer look at ourselves before we attempt to look at others in judgment. If we fixate more on our issues, our misconceptions, our fears, and our failures, then make it right before God; we will have no time or desire for judging others.
It should be noted that this passage is directed towards believers. When Jesus shares that the speck in in “our brother’s eye”, He is addressing believers. We should also be addressing believers; those who have different faiths/belief systems may not know or even care about what Christians believe.
Please help us to see clearly; through Your eyes. May we love through Your heart and may we forgive as You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.