Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Cleanse Me"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 7:3 – 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? (NIV)
Every morning, I clean up the manure in the corral. I use a short rake and a large shovel for picking it up and tossing it into either a sled or a wagon for hauling, depending upon the season. This morning as I was going about this daily chore, my shovel was very full as I began carrying it back to the sled, which meant negotiating an icy incline. As I was carefully making my way down the slope, it crossed my mind that if I slipped and fell backwards, there would be a backlash, as the contents on the shovel would fly up and backward into the air, ending up all over me! What a thought and what a laugh I had as I considered the consequence of this possible scenario! I wasn't laughing, however, as my next thought led me to consider the comparison with what happens to those who judge others unfairly.
Matthew 7:1-2 – 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. (NIV)
It can be very easy for us, as human beings, to judge others: how they look, spend their money, speak, act, or believe. In judging, we may also become guilty of falling into the habit of yet another sin, the sin of gossiping to others concerning what we feel are our own righteous judgements against these people. Most of us like to bolster our own self-confidence and opinions by having others agree with us.
So beware, for as we judge, so shall we be judged. Judging others is much like the icy slope that I was navigating this morning: it only takes one slip to have the manure you have been slinging at others to come flying back into your own face.
Prayer: Father God, help us to choose kind and caring thoughts towards others, especially those who are different from ourselves, those who choose other paths that we may not agree with. May we be merciful, patient, and wise, loving and accepting others for who they are, just as You love and accept us. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.