Saturday 14 July, 2018

Matthew 7:1-6

7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “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? 4 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? 5 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. 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

I think the Message version expresses this passage well, as it captures the negative connotation of judgement that I believe Jesus is getting at:

1“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment.

Our thoughts and words can so easily tend towards criticising those around us – how well they do or don’t think, speak, lead, behave, belong, act under pressure, etc. I know this critical thought is true of me, and I’m sure I’m not alone. And yet Jesus encourages us not to judge others, but to instead look inwards to fix the log in our own eye.

Pastor Linda has a great phrase that “all behaviour is communication”. In other words, people act certain ways for a reason. At the core of most people’s wrong behaviour is hurt and pain, which has intentionally or unintentionally been inflicted upon them. Our job isn’t to point out their wrongs – our job is to help them let God in so that He can heal their hurt and pain. And the first step in doing this, is letting Him into our own hurt and pain.

Lord, help me to look inwards before looking outwards. Help me to be open, honest and vulnerable with You, letting you fix the bad parts about me. Then, help me to see the pain, suffering and hurt that lies in others, and desire to help them through it, just as You have helped me. Amen.

Written by Matt Samperi

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