Judge As You Want To Be Judged, Part 1
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
Most people get defensive when they feel judged. Who appointed you judge and jury? How many times have you heard that one, thought it, or even said it yourself? There’s something about criticism that can make us feel misunderstood and even attacked.
Yet every day we are judged and we judge others. Every thing from hairstyles to child rearing to financial decisions can cause raised eyebrows and cynical glances. People are by nature judgemental, but does that make it okay? Do we need to communicate every assessment that pops into our heads?
In growing our relationships with fellow believers, we are called to encourage, counsel, and exhort them toward godliness, which seems to include the need to judge their behaviour. Fortunately, we can count on Jesus to clearly outline how to judge in the right way.
1. Do away with my own critical spirit (v.1).
Does this mean we don’t judge at all? No. Jesus Himself criticized the Pharisees and scribes. What we need to avoid is sinful, improper judging. In short, sinful judgement picks out the shortcomings of others but fails to see one’s own sin.
Here are a few questions to help you judge your judging. Does speaking out your assessment give you a feeling of superiority? Do you like the feeling of having power over another person? Are you getting a little bit of pleasure from pointing out faults, flaws, and failures? These are indicators that your judgement is flowing out of a sense of pride. God knows our tendency to do this, and He tells us to consider our motives and methods, not only when rebuking someone but also when we are being corrected.
There are more guidelines to come, but start here: when you need to judge, it’s time to proceed with great caution and care, seeking God’s wisdom to reveal any critical spirit that would hinder clear thinking and communication. —Todd Dugard
· Would I consider myself a judgmental person? Would I be willing to ask my family members what they think?
· What does a judgemental attitude have to do with pride?
Prayer – Almighty Father in heaven, my pride seems to lurk around every corner! Forgive me for my critical attitude. Forgive me when I tear down others rather than look in the mirror and correct my own issues. When I do need to correct, help me to proceed with caution and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.