03 January 2009


[Matthew 7:1-5] “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

Jesus pointed out that they who judge others unfairly would be judged themselves, in the same measure. It is foolish and hypocritical for us to criticize someone for a fault while remaining blind to our own considerable faults[1] . Plainly, we should expect to receive what we dish out. Jesus’ statement didn’t mean to dismiss or ignore bad behavior; His point was to loose the holier than thou attitude. He wants us to stop the practice of knocking people just to make ourselves feel superior. The contrast between the “speck in your friend’s eye” and “the log in your own eye” gives us an accurate visual. How can we possibly have clear vision? We don’t. Before we go looking for dust in our sister’s house, we better do some house cleaning at home first.

[Matthew 7:12] “So in everything, do to others what you would have them to do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets” [NIV]

Toward the beginning of The Sermon on the Mount, we read about meeting the requirements of the Law and the Prophets; here the Law and Prophets are mentioned again. A lot of His lessons up until this point pertain to this simple yet meaningful phrase we know as The Golden Rule. The message it delivers is that we should do for others what we’d want them to do for us. It sounds easy enough and is totally fair. It’s a tough act to follow, though. Who can be so caring and supporting 100% of the time? Who is so selfless that they always think of others before they think of themselves? Not me. Notice the second and third words: “in everything”. No further explanation is needed, eh?.

How quickly we jump to conclusions about others! Jesus tells us we have no right to judge others, only God does. He doesn’t suggest for us to turn a blind eye, rather, take a good, hard look at ourselves, and consider our motives and behavior before we pass judgment on others. We don’t have to apologize for mean things we don’t say. When we look at our peers through God’s loving eyes of pure, clear and wide vision instead of our own nearsighted critical eyes, we will see past their faults and catch glimpses of opportunities to glorify God. We will see how we can be forgiving and recognize how we can be helpful and respectful, in spite of different opinions.

We must treat each other the way God treats us: with love, generosity, patience, and forgiveness. When we apply the Golden Rule to our lives, in everything, we can refrain from jumping to the wrong conclusions, differentiate between good and bad, and show respect for everyone, even those we disagree with. [2]

[1] NIV Study Bible; note on Luke 6:41

[2] Adult Student Book, by David C. Cook, Dec 2008 – Feb 2009; pgs. 33-39

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