We’re sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to the greatest sermon ever preached: the Sermon on the Mount.
Today, Jesus dives right into our hearts again and gives us instructions for how to relate to others in this world. Here’s what he says:
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? 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.
Jesus hates it when we’re either (a) hypercritical or (b) hypocritical. It’s all about LOVE.
We must first deal with the sin in our own hearts before even thinking about opening our mouths. If we don’t ask God to yank our planks, we can’t possibly spot others’ specks.
Once we’ve been de-planked, we should then ask God to help us KINDLY and GENTLY approach others with an attitude of LOVE. Jesus’ words are plain and clear: if we display self-righteous, others-condemning attitudes and actions, we risk being judged that same way ourselves.
As Paul put it:
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
Or as Mother Teresa put it:
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
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