The last couple of days we have been discussing the complicated and seemingly contradictory instructions we get from the Bible about judging others. We saw how we are called not to judge and yet called to judge. The main element was looking at the heart, of both the judger and the judged.
In the Bible, we are called as parents to correct our children…to pick elders and church leaders with certain character…to vote for Godly leaders…to be a third party helping settle a dispute between two brothers. So again, the permission to judge rests in the motivation engine in our heart that drives our judging the other person.
If our motivation is to condemn, shame, mock, belittle them…or exalt ourselves, then obviously, this is not the kind of peer judging God calls us to.
Our motivation needs to be one of compassion, love, service, and encouragement. Trying to help someone avoid the perils of reaping the fruit of the flesh that their continued wrong behavior will produce. Being a vehicle or mouthpiece of God and trying to direct them to God and His Word.
Another issue in our judging is the motivation for why we are judging the other person. In today’s scripture, Jesus describes a type of hypocrisy most of us have experienced. We are quick to condemn others when we should be examining our own lives. Often our sin even surpasses theirs.
Jesus says that before we can help them, we need to have a look at our own lives. Are we involved in wrongdoing that might cloud our wisdom and hamper our ability to help? Our sin, baggage, issues could distort our perception of their conduct, and we might even wrongly judge them. We could also give them poor counsel as our issues bleed into our Biblical objectivity.
Not having our house in order will also undermine our credibility to speak into their lives. Why would they listen to or believe us when I have all this junk and blindspots in my life. What expertise or wisdom do I have to impart if I cant even apply it in my own life.
If we aren’t looking at our own stuff, that will be a pretty good barometer of out level of humility. Low humility…high pride. Not a great combo to speak into another’s life with Godliness. Our dysfunction will also hinder our prayers for them?
Today, as Jesus teaches, get the plank out of your own eye…only then will you see clearly enough to help your friends with their problems. Have you performed a self eye exam lately? Like me, you are probably overdue!
Click here to share your perspective about being judging yourself first.
Dear Father God, I know I am sometimes quick to judge…and to condemn. Please forgive me. Help me to examine my own life first so I can see clearly to help others and not condemn them. Help me to extend the same grace to them that You have abundantly extended to me. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the best mirror for my eye exam, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
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? 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? 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.