Jesus Teaches Warnings and Admonitions
Have you ever walked through a crowd and formed an opinion about someone based on their activity, their appearance, or their language? Maybe you’ve heard something about someone and formed an opinion based on second hand information. Maybe you’ve watched two men friends walking down the street side by side, or two women, and decided that they were of a different sexual orientation than you.
Unfortunately, we judge others all the time. Sometimes the judgment is correct but most often, it isn’t. Our treatment of them is based on that judgment. We look at a person’s skin color and lump them in with everyone else who has the same skin color and judge accordingly. We make assumptions based on where a person lives and who they hang out with, the length of their hair, the number of body piercings, and the number of tattoos.
In Matthew 7, verses 1-5, Jesus says, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
Judgment places a wall between you and the person you are judging. They recognize the censure whether you say anything to them or not. Your body language can be most telling, but your quick glance in another direction says a bunch. Jesus wants to be their only judge, but in order for Him to reach their heart, He uses you to reflect Him to that person. If all they see is criticism, they’ll turn their back on what you and the Lord have to offer.
As Jesus said, by whatever standard you judge another, you will also be judged. Consider the advantages we’ve had as a Christian, the teaching we’ve been privileged to hear and learn from, the great examples you walked with, and the Bible at your fingertips. You expect the same behavior from someone who’s never had those options, or at least has never taken advantage of the opportunities if he did have them.
Before God, the only person we are responsible for, the only person whose behavior we can control, is ourselves. We need to make sure we are walking as Jesus would have us walk, complying with His attitudes and beatitudes for our lives, and then love everyone else, unconditionally. Judgment places conditions on a relationship. And it closes doors.
Check your judgment eyes at the door. Leave them on the front seat of your vehicle and walk into a room planning to love anyone and everyone you meet. Make sure the log in your own eyes is taken care of before you expect a person to remove the speck in his. Jesus will trust you with more people for you to reflect His love to, if you are faithful with the few He’s already given you.
For further study: Isa. 11:3; Luke 6:37-42; John 8:7; Cor. 4:5; 1 Cor. 5:12-13; James 4:11