Daily Strength - When Critical

Daily Strength - When Critical

“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.

When I was a student I studied law at University. As part of a research project I was doing I remember travelling to England to meet a famous Judge. The person in question was retired and we visited with him in his home. It was fascinating to sit and listen to him as he talked about his long career and the many times when he had been called to pronounce judgment on the words and actions of other people.

The words we have read today, from Jesus, remind us that there is a ‘judge’ that lurks not far below the surface in each of us. When we see someone doing something, or hear them saying something, before we know we jump to form a ‘judgment’, be that good or bad. As time goes by we become very experienced at this, and without realising it we begin to think we are actually quite good at it.

Jesus warns us that judging others is not our job. That does not mean other people will not be judged (elsewhere Jesus talks a lot about judgement), rather the thing is judging is not our job. We are not equipped to judge (we never know the whole story) and when we judge others we begin to lose sight of the one person we should be paying to; ourselves.

Prayer: Father it is so easy to judge other people and I do it often. Please forgive me and teach me rather to look deeply into my own heart. To bring my sins and failings to You and to seek, not Your justice (because that would crush me), but Your mercy (because there I find life and hope). In Jesus’ Name. Amen.