“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “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? …
Lately, I have come under great conviction about these words from Jesus. Translated, this means every time I engage in gossip or judgement of others I come away feeling tremendous guilt and remorse. That’s God’s way of getting my attention. And I don’t believe I’m alone in these judgements. The saddest part is it mostly happens in conversations with other Christians. I can also always tell when I’m the subject of judgement because the room gets very quiet when I enter it. That’s another thing I’ve learned: If we judge others behind their backs, they most likely are saying things about us when we’re not around.
Now I’m no psychiatrist, but one of the things I’ve learned in recent years is that those of us who engage in this type of sin are often doing it to deflect attention from our own shortcomings and insecurities. “As long as we’re talking about someone else the attention is off me and my own sinfulness.” Jesus also had something to say about this when the Pharisees judged a woman caught in adultery:
7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
So does this mean we’re supposed to overlook a brother or sister’s sin when we know it’s going on? Absolutely not. But the first thing we should do, according to God’s word, is to look in the mirror and take our own personal inventory. What am I repenting of today? How am I trying to live a life more Holy and pleasing to God?
I have a dear brother who, admittedly, I didn’t always seem to get along with a few years back. I thought he was judging me and was just being too Legalistic. Oh it was an “L” word alright. What he was trying to do was Love me. How? By having the courage to, lovingly, confront me when the Father directed him to do so. He’s also given of himself over and over during these years and continues to do so today. And I can pretty much guarantee you he NEVER says anything about me that he doesn’t say to my face. A few days ago I got defensive with him over something. You know what he said? “I’m not criticizing you brother, I just want you to know how much I miss you and love you.” I knew he meant it.
So the next time you hear yourself judging someone, please stop and check your motives. If you do that and remember these words from Jesus I truly believe that, before too long, you’ll not be gossiping about and judging others. Instead, you will love them like you’ve never loved them before. You’ll love them as Christ loves you.
Grace and Peace,
MON-FRI 1P-3P, SUN 6A-10A