Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
Matthew 7: 1-5
Eek! These words of Jesus pull no punches. He’s about as direct as He could be. “Don’t judge, lest you be judged.”
I struggle with this. I try very hard to be kind to everyone that I meet. It’s my darn brain that betrays me at times. For example, I can feel compassion for the disheveled man on the corner with the cardboard sign asking for donations, but think critically of the woman attending church in a revealing dress, or someone going up to communion in “shower shoes.” I know what I’ve been taught about modesty and church attire, and mentally apply it to others. I should not assume that they have been taught the same rules or etiquette. I’m ashamed to admit that I have thought in the past, “Why come to church like that? It shows no respect for the Lord.” Would the Lord feel the same way, or would He just be glad that they were there? I don’t know, but isn’t that for God to decide? He is a just judge who knows all of a person’s experiences and circumstances.
When these thoughts of judgment come to mind anywhere that I may be – in the grocery line, in church, in my car…I try to immediately “check” them and put them aside. I know that I will be responsible for these ugly mental judgments. I beg God to help me to become more like Christ – in my words and actions, and especially in my thoughts. Lord, please remove the log from my brain!