What God's Teaching Me About "Judging" Others
Lately, I’ve been praying a kind of weird prayer. It started when I remembered a story from a few years ago.
It was during the summer. I was attending a Bible Study with some friends on Wednesday nights. One Wednesday, my friend bravely shared a prayer she had been praying.
Her prayer: “God, show me my sin.”
Seems simple enough, but my friend shared how God had rocked her world with that little prayer. God began to reveal sin in her life- sin that she had become blind to.
The funny thing is my friend is a Christian woman who loves Jesus very much. Here she was face to face with her sin. She couldn’t pretend it wasn’t there. God had answered her prayer.
This friend shared how she began to appreciate grace in a fresh way because her sin was clear to her. Even as a Christian, she struggled with sin. This revelation was a gift!
She wasn’t overwhelmed with condemnation. She was overwhelmed with gratitude.
This is how it starts for us as Believers. When we first meet Jesus, we come to him because we have seen our sin and its penalty clearly. That awareness causes us to run to Jesus for forgiveness. We recognize our need for a Savior, and we accept grace with excitement because of that awareness.
There’s relief and gratitude.
Then something happens. Time passes, and since we know the blood of Jesus covers us, we become blind to sin.
And we wonder if Grace has covered us, why would we want to look at our sin?
The Log in My Eye
As I’ve started praying, “God, show me my sin,” I’ve begun to notice a judgemental attitude in my heart- not blatantly obvious, but always under the surface. And it’s not the good kind that leads to restored lives and relationships. It’s the kind that pushes people away, more trapped in sin than before.
I’m learning a couple of things:
It’s easy for me to judge the struggle of other Believers when I’m blind to my own sin.
And the flipside.
It’s easy for me to show grace to my brothers and sisters when I’m aware of my own sin.
God illustrates how we are to treat each other’s struggles in Matthew 7.
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Matthew 7:1-5, ESV.
Y’all, we’ve all got something in our eyes.
How can I see to help my brother (sister) get the speck out of his (her) eye when I have a massive log blocking my view?
I can’t without first taking a long look in the mirror.
Two Ways We Misinterpret Mattew 7:1-5
There are a few ways we can misinterpret the verses in Matthew chapter seven.
1. We interpret these verses wrong when we use them to justify sin.
Does this sound familiar: “don’t judge me?” Or how about: “you’re not my judge?” These phrases have become popular anthems when we want to justify our sin.
None of us want to be confronted with our sin.
But as Believers, we should welcome the confrontation of our brothers and sisters who confront us in love and according to Truth.
2. We interpret these verses wrong when we use them to justify our silence in the face of our brother’s (sister’s) sin.
Many times, silence is the easy route. I am raising my hand here. I hate confrontation! But sometimes, out of love, it’s necessary.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1
The question we should ask ourselves when we want to confront another Believer about the sin in their life is, “have I got the log out of my own eye?”
Not that we’re perfect, but that we see clearly.
How’s Your Vision?
So this leads me to ask myself, “Jennifer, how’s your vision?”
It’s in these moments that I have to stand before the mirror and ask God to help me remove the log from my own eye. If I'm going to love my people well, I have to be able to see clearly.
This makes us better for each other.
When Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 not to judge our brother, he wasn’t saying we should be silent in the face of our brother’s sin. But that we should make sure our own eyes are clear first. How else will we see clearly?
Will you join me in praying, “God, show me my sin?”
Then when He answers (and He will), let's remove the log from our eye. And praise Jesus that He grace covers us.
So, friends, how’s your vision?? Let me know in the comments! I would be honored to pray with you!
Verses for Further Study:
Luke 10:27, ESV: And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
John 13:34-35, ESV: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Romans 12:9-10, ESV: Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 14:19, ESV: So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
1 John 4:7, ESV: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.