Matthew 7:1-5 : “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.
This passage caused quite a bit of brutally honest reflection. The word ‘judge’ or ‘krinó’ in the original greek, refers to a legal judge, so in judging others I decide what is wrong with them and then impose a sentence. I was really challenged by this passage and decided to list those people I am judgmental towards. Unfortunately it was quite a list.
One particular friend stood out, and as I thought about what I considered wrong with them, I realised that my ‘sentence’ was that I basically avoided them, treated them badly and have been quite rude to them. So what should I do?
I read on in the passage looking for ideas on how to counter this and discovered: ‘first take the plank out of your own eye’. This means, I am to think about my own behaviour in relation to my friend.
As I thought about this I realised that my ‘plank’, my faults in relation to him are:
– I don’t invest enough time in the relationship
– I don’t show enough love and care
– I can come across as disapproving of his life choices
– I never open up and share my struggles with him, almost wanting to appear ‘perfect’ which means he is always looking to find faults in me.
So challenged by this amazing passage I have resolved to send him this list and talk through it with him. And others might need a similar phone call from me.
I really praise God for showing me through Matthew 7:1-5 my need to work on some of my relationships in my life. God is amazing!
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