November 25, 2006

Judging Others

Matthew 7:1-6

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged." Matthew 7:1


Have you ever been critical of someone or said something about someone's behavior, and then heard these words: "Don't judge, or you too will be judged"?

Jesus does not imply here that we may never evaluate people or make assessments about them.

For example, one of the greatest and most important tasks of a parent is to teach a child right from wrong. Parents should rebuke a child for doing wrong, and they should praise a child for doing what is right. The child's spiritual health depends on it.

Jesus illustrates by saying, "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?"

We should be more concerned about the wrongs in our own lives and leave the judging of someone else to God, before whom everyone "will give an account" (Romans 14:12). An unknown poet said,

Pray don't find fault with a man who limps or stumbles along the road,

Unless you have worn the shoes he wears or struggled beneath his load.

There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt, though hidden away from view,

Or the burden he bears, placed on your back, might cause you to stumble too.

Teach us, Lord, that when we take a speck out of someone's eye, we do it gently and with love. Teach us to deal with people as Jesus did. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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