“If you judge other people, then you will find that you, too, are being judged. Indeed, you will be judged by the very standards to which you hold other people.”
— Matthew 7:1-2
Are you judgmental? Do you assume you can judge the intent of another person’s heart? Are you critical and negative about the actions of others? Jesus wants us all to realize that we cannot know the motivations of someone’s heart. When we are unfairly harsh or bitingly critical in our judgment of others, we are setting the standard by which God will judge us. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to exchange God’s grace for my unreasonable harshness. I’m going work harder at viewing others with mercy and grace.
Dear God, please forgive me for being unfairly harsh and critical in my assessment of others. Thank you for being so rich and free with your mercy and grace lavished on me in Jesus. Please help me to be more gracious and merciful in the way I assess the intent and motivation of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
“Why is it that you see the dust in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but you can’t see what is in your own eye? Don’t ignore the wooden plank in your eye, while you criticize the speck of dust in your brother’s eyelashes. That type of criticism and judgement is a sham! Remove the plank from your own eye, and then perhaps you will be able to see clearly how to help your brother flush out his sawdust.”
– Matthew 7:3-5
Finding fault in someone else is so easy for most of us. Finding fault in ourselves is much trickier. Jesus reminds us that we must deal with the shortcomings and sins in our own lives before we start telling others how to live. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? But we all know it isn’t.
Father, please forgive me when I am severe, harsh, and judgmental toward others. I know there are problems in my own life that need the work of your Holy Spirit. I confess that there are routine sins that I find myself excusing more and more. Please, dear LORD, forgive my sin and empower me to move beyond it. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.