Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 7:1-5 – 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. (NIV)
My son-in-law made a trip to Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, to pick up supplies for their business. While he was there, he also picked up a small tent trailer that I had purchased online a year previously and had left with friends until we could drive down to pull it home.
The evening before he was to return home, he and our friend hitched the trailer to his truck and then tried all the lights. The lights on the trailer were not working. Yet, our friend, who had thoroughly checked everything, stated that the lights had been working when he had tried them. Hmmm. Obviously, there was a problem. Both men rechecked everything on the trailer, but they could find nothing wrong. Then, they crawled under my son-in-law's truck and discovered several broken wires.
It wasn't the trailer after all — it was the truck. Once they had repaired the problem with the truck, everything worked. My son-in-law then said, "No wonder none of the trailer lights have worked on the last two trailers that I have bought!"
As much as we laughed over this story when he shared it with us, it also reminded me of today's Scripture passage. How easy it can be for us to assume that the problems that we have with others in our life are their fault and not ours, or even partially ours. It seems that our human nature just likes to look at others and blame them before we stop and take a look at ourselves through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, Who always speaks and reveals the truth. If we would admit it, we don't always want to see or acknowledge the truth, for that takes humility and the desire and intent to change.
Yet, change we must, if we do not want to be found lacking in God's sight when it comes to judging others. For as we judge others, so shall we be judged. As we have measured out to others, so will it one day be measured out to us.
So, before we jump into judging others, let us diligently pray for the Holy Spirit to give us a great big nudge if we haven't taken the time to prayerfully ask Him to search our own heart and ways.
Surely, each one of us wants to be pleasurably judged and measured before God, and not in humiliation.
Prayer: Father God, forgive us for our sin of too often judging others before allowing You to show us the areas in which we ourselves are lacking and need to deal with. Help us to be patient and full of compassion, as You are, to those around us, even when we cannot know or do not understand their situation or why they do what they do. May we choose to measure out to others the fullness of Your kindness, love, grace, and mercy, that Your light might shine brightly and lives might be changed for eternity. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.