We are called to be self-reflective rather than the bearer of judgment.


Today’s Gospel is quoted often.  Those who use it paraphrase this way, “The Bible says that we are not to judge.”  And that sounds very close to “judge not.” The implication given then is that we are not say anything negative about anyone or make any judgment about right and wrong, especially when it comes to their understanding of God and His ways.  Practices such as determining who goes to the Lord’s Table for communion are decried as judgmental.  And yet even this section of scripture says that after self examination we are then ready “to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye,” a phrase that suggest the very kind of judgment verse one is often used to excoriate.  To not judge in this context is to not pride fully judge another in a way that ignores our own sin.  Luke’s version of this same statement is this:

Luke 6:35-37 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.  36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.  37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged.”

 

 

A great mistake all humans make is to believe that we are better than one another. We all do; none of us can see our own faults. Yet we see clearly the faults of others and believe that we can help better the lives of others. If we could truly be honest with ourselves and view how we do things; see; speak and think we will know that we don’t have the right to judge anyone. As a child as most of you older adults know we grew up with “do as I say, not as I do”. Adults are good for teaching rules that they themselves break. This is unreasonable because humans mimic what they hear and see. What’s your problem? Before you can help someone become victorious over anything you must first be victorious in that same area. You are a hypocrite if you struggle with anything and pretend that you don’t have your own issues. Yet you want to tell someone of their problems. What is your problem? Work on your problems first. Don’t judge or stop judging others; let people who knew that you struggled in something see your victory. Let them ask you for help or suggest how you got over your situation. Be a cheerleader for them; everyone needs to be encouraged. Life is a struggle when we decide to do what JESUS did or would do; see as JESUS does; think as JESUS does according to the Word of GOD. The measuring rod is not you but the Word of GOD.

 

We are called to be self-reflective rather than the bearer of judgment. The most annoying things we find in other people are generally things that we find or have found in ourselves. We can often learn a lot about ourselves when we are aware of our less favorable experiences of others. Success in one area we may not carry over into others. We often cross this line. When the actions of another may leave us frustrated, we find it a challenge to distinguish between the cases where our action is best served by learning through self-reflection or recognizing a call for justice in this world.

My prayer today is for the strength and the will to keep my connection with God close and open. I pray for the ability to identify which directions are the best. I ask for forgiveness for the times that I have wrongly judged. Finally I pray for the insight to correctly recognize God’s strengths and my limitations.

 

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2 Responses

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