“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.” Matthew 7:1-5
I think a general “problem” within the Christian society is the judgment of others. Let me back this up a step further and say that the reason I can say this is because I have been on both sides of the fence. I was born and raised in a loving Christian home which meant I was not one to do much “wrong” as a child and even a teenager. I didn’t understand how someone could mess up so bad when Christ was sent down to die for their sins. This didn’t make sense to me. That was, until I entered the “real world”
I look back on things in my “past” whether it be 5 years ago or last week and feel convictions. These are personal guilt ridden feelings that are placed in my heart because of the bloodshed that my Savior spilt for me. I am blessed to know He cares enough to give me a discerning heart of my sins in order to repent, forgive & move on. Key words here, forgiven & move on.
So what do others have to do with the sins of my past? Or visa versa? Who am I to look into someone’s past and judge them for what they have done when I cant see out of my own sin-filled life? Or again, visa versa.
This has been heavy on my heart for a while now as I have gone through some things that make me realize that life isn’t always as it seems. Assumptions might be easier for others when it is fun to talk about or gossip with. What can we do to change this attitude? Most of the time these assumptions are made to take the pressure off one person and place on another. How much easier is it to “compare” your life to someone who might look like they are a “better person”?! I know I am guilty of it, are you?
Imagine someone following your every move with a camera. They carefully monitor everything you do, talk about, act upon. Would you act differently? Speak nicer towards people? Make others look worse so that you could look better? Now imagine if they could get inside your head and hear what you genuinely think, assume or “judge” others. Scary?
“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the Law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest Thou?””This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him.””But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground.””And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.””When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?””She said, No man, Lord.””And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:2-11
The “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone” incident is one of the most well-known lessons of the Bible. A woman, who had been caught in the act of adultery was brought to Jesus Christ by the scribes and Pharisees as a test to see if the Messiah was a liberal in matters of the Law of God. In response to their deceitful query, He didn’t condemn the woman, not because He was a liberal, not because He condoned her sin, but because the men who brought the woman to Him were hypocrites. He was the only person there that day who was free of sin, the only one who had the right to “cast the first stone.” He didn’t stone her (or her accusers), but instead forgave her and told her to “sin no more.” Otherwise, the day is coming when she, if she didn’t thereafter repent, won’t be stoned, but will be burned – along with the hypocrites who brought her to Him that day, if they didn’t thereafter repent of their sin.
How can we allow ourselves and others to grow spiritually if we are constantly judging things that, as Christians, have already been forgiven in the eyes of Christ? Who are we to go on and on, to feel guilt ridden in our own sin when Christ fought with such passion and love to erase that. In Hebrews 8:12 the Lord says “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” How can we move on, grow, and learn to be more Christ-like if we let sin be the barrier between He and ourselves? God cannot look upon sin. When He sees us, He sees beautiful sons and daughters, saints. It’s time we take the plank out of our own eye, stop searching for stones to throw at others and love ourselves and those with a Christ-like, forgiven, pure love.
For hours our Savior hung on the cross as if He was beneath sin. As Christians, we have no right to act as if we are above it.