“In the same way you judge others, you will be judged.”
What do you do when your friend hasn’t been much of a friend? How do you respond when your coworker brags about being dishonest? How do you answer a person who confides in you about their struggle with an addiction? It can be difficult to know how to respond, and unfortunately it is sometimes easier to wag our fingers accusingly at those who struggle with sin.
But Jesus leads us to take a different approach. While it is always appropriate to show genuine concern for people caught in sin, Jesus doesn’t allow us to pronounce a verdict on them. God alone is the one who may judge a person’s heart and actions.
Jesus wants us to do the humbling work of self-examination. Ask God to help you examine your own heart, and he will likely uncover your own weaknesses and shortcomings. As painful as that may be, God can use this for our growth. When we have recognized our failures and struggles, we are in a position to come alongside those who struggle with similar sins.
As difficult as this is, it is possible because Jesus has dealt this way with us. Jesus is the truly righteous judge, but he takes the “plank” of our sinfulness on himself and grants us a full pardon. May his mercy compel us to act in kind.
Our God, we find it easy to find fault in others, and nearly impossible to recognize our own sins. You see us perfectly, and yet through Jesus you no longer condemn us. Help us to see others as you see us. Amen.
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