One of the biggest complaints I hear about Christians is that we are very judgmental in our approach to life and our interactions with others. We often hear people quoting the words of Jesus that are found in Matthew 7:1-2;
1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2 (ESV)
However like almost every other passage of scripture that teaches us a truth; Jesus goes on to explain what he means with an illustration. This illustration is how many of us stand in judgment of others. This is found in Matthew 7:3-5;
3 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? 4 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? 5 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. (ESV)
We often want to ignore our own issues and point out the faults of others so we can feel good about ourselves. I am just being honest with you. It's not that Christians are the only ones who do this every person I have ever met Christian or atheist has the tendency to point out the flaws of those around them. It's just being human. When Paul was writing his first letter to the Corinthian Church he was addressing several issues that had been brought to his attention one of them was the issue of judging one another. We see His response to the issue in 1 Corinthians 11:31-32;
31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. (ESV)
You see when we judge others we judge them by our standards and what we believe is right or wrong. However, Paul is explaining that the standard is established not by us but by Jesus and the Word of God. This must be applied to our own lives leaving us with no place to stand in judgment of others. In the end only the Lord will judge the whole human race.
There is a little book called My Heart Christ's Home it is written by Robert Boyd Munger it illustrates what it would be like if when you accepted Jesus as your savior He was to come over and visit you at home. Everyone can relate to this; someone calls you, says they are in the neighborhood and will be coming by in about 20 minutes. In most every case there is a 20 minute cleaning spree and everything you want to hide goes in the hall closet. When your guest arrives you are sure to steer them away from that one place where you have hidden all the stuff you don't want them to see.
Does anyone know what I am talking about? Paul suggests that if we desire to avoid the condemnation that is coming for the world we need to become disciplined in our own walk and worry less about everyone else's. So today if we each started doing a little house keeping; looking at what we are doing that dishonors God and keeps us from receiving His best for us. We will be able to live a life that leads others to Christ. Not because of what we say but they will have seen us living what Jesus taught. Not just hiding our failures when others are looking. Be blessed as you walk in the light of God's Word.
Rev. Brian H. Mathis CSC
Ordained Minister Church of God, Cleveland TN
Currently serving as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship at Westminster Baptist Church
Graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary MDiv in Chaplain Studies