Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Plank in My Eye

One of the stumbling blocks I really struggle with overcoming is my tendency to judge others. This became painfully apparent during a conversation with a close friend a few days ago. He told me that he felt very distant from God, like God had forgotten all about him. I should have been listening to my friend and offering empathy. Instead, I was too busy picking apart his faith in my mind. I wondered silently how often this person read the Bible and prayed and what he was doing to actively serve the Lord. All on my own, I had come to the conclusion that this person was obviously not serious about his faith, or he wouldn’t be having this problem.

Thank GOD I didn’t open my mouth. Because, in the midst of my self-righteous line of thinking, I was gently reminded of the times I had felt the same kind of distance from God that my friend had been experiencing. I also was reminded that I don’t spend nearly enough time in the word and in prayer, so I had no business judging someone else’s spiritual life. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit put me right back in my place before I said anything that would have hurt my friend. He was already feeling bad about his relationship with Jesus. He needed consolation, not condemnation.

There are many verses in the Bible that warn us about the dangers of judging others. Probably the most well known come from Matthew 7:1-5, where Jesus says, “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.

So, If you are like me and struggle with judgmentalism, let’s pray that God will remind us of the planks in our eyes and that the sins we focus on correcting will be our own.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Thanks -- we all need this reminder sometimes. And thanks for your writings. I really enjoy reading them!