Text: Matthew 7:1-6
“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?”
– Matthew 7:3
This passage hurts! Ouch! As I studied it, I kept wanting to look away because it is so convicting. I am the worst judger. I am Judgsy McJudgepants. I think judgement is like a sport in our culture, and I am totally winning. Oh man. But brave Matthew Henry gently reminds:
“…not that there are any sins little, for there is no little God to sin against…”
So here we are, at Judgers Anonymous.
First, “Judge not.” We just don’t have the authority to judge our brothers and sisters. And, frankly, our own judgments can be based on our jealousy and stink. And we definitely can’t judge the state of another by any single act. Think if you were judged based on your lowest moment. Uhhh, I can think of a few right now.
Because honestly, we are apt to give ourselves way more indulgence than other people. Think of the last time you had a fight. You only wanted something completely reasonable, right? And the other people were just out of control, right? I’m afraid I give myself so much more leeway than I give others.
And the second part, “That you not be judged.” You will receive a greater condemnation if you are dealing out the judgement (James 3:1). I mean, what would become of us if God were as harsh in judging us as we are in judging others? If He is a sweet river of forgiveness, what business do I have blowing holes in everybody’s boat as they float down the river?
We bicker with our people over small faults while we allow ourselves large ones. We are like the Pharisees who rebuked the disciples for eating with dirty hands, but they encouraged men who held their own parents in contempt.
Jesus does, however, approve gentle discernment. After all, we are subject to one another (James 3:1).Since we simply can’t know the eternal state of another, we are called to lovingly counsel and encourage.
How can you say to your brother, “Let me reform you,” but take no care to reform yourself? It’s absurd.
The knowledge of our own sin should make us careful in reproving others. We are in the exact same position as those we are reproving.
Nonetheless, God calls sinners to rebuke sinners. Humbly. Gracefully. Justly.