Matthew 7 vs 1 - 5
1 ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
I love the way Jesus here draws on his experience as a carpenter to illustrate the point here. I wonder how many times the wind blew sawdust into his eye? What Jesus is saying is not what many people today think he’s saying; that we shouldn’t evaluate people’s actions, weigh them or that we must never say that someone is wrong. We are so terrified of the accusing finger being levelled at us with a charge of being judgemental that quite often when asked for a view on something we begin with the qualification.... “Well, who am I to say...”. Yet, we can discern truth from error, right from wrong, and we can understand and know those things that God in his word describes as offensive or sinful. That is not what Jesus is talking about but rather our attitude and approach to others and perhaps it is helpful to bear three things in mind. First and foremost our attitude towards others should be gracious since it is with grace that God deals with us. We ought to have a fellow feeling and sympathy for those who fall. Secondly his will is to restore us and that in like measure should be our aim. Thirdly we are rightly called hypocrites if we criticise and condemn other people for doing those things that captivate our hearts and dominate our thoughts and deeds, if we have turned a blind eye to our own sins. Perhaps a little more understanding and humility is appropriate as we seek to restore our fallen brothers and sisters.
PRAYER: Lord you know my heart and understand my thoughts and I confess that I am often critical and finding fault with other people. Sometime I say harsh things about them often behind their back, or harbour feelings of anger or hatred. Lord please give me wisdom and compassion as I evaluate the actions and words of others. Take away attitudes of superiority; remind me of how you have treated me with consideration and mercy and help me be gracious as I try to restore others to walk in right paths.