Warning. I might judge you! Yep! If you drive a large, black pick-up truck with over-sized tires, and chrome-colored, diesel exhaust pipes that rise out of the bed of the truck on both sides of the cab, with a noisy engine that makes all the children within a half-mile cry, I might judge you as a total jerk. This would be especially true if you rode up alongside me while I was cycling, gunning your engine in order to blow diesel smoke all over me while you drove off in great glee!
But maybe, just maybe, not everyone who owns such a truck would do such a thing. Maybe they should not all be judged. It’s not a moral evil to have such a device. I can’t see why you’d want such a thing, but then you might not understand why I drive old cars and cycle on country roads.
Judging others just plain feels good! It puts you (in your own mind at least) on the higher level. You just know that you see life in a way that is better than the other fool.
But judging violates one of the greatest of timeless truths. One tends to get back what one gives. Being gracious to others tends to lead to others being gracious to us.
I love the illustration that Jesus uses about the plank in one’s own eye, whereas there is merely a speck in the eye of another. Not dealing with our own specks means that, over time, they turn into a splinter, then a shaving, then a wedge, then a board, and finally a plank – that is unknown to the host eyeball. Critical people, unchecked, tend to grow larger in their judgments. And in the process, they become more oblivious to their own issues.
We need to be aware of this human proclivity toward self-righteousness. There is no more ineffective person than a hypocrite. We may need to ask others to tell us what they see in our eyes, and then be willing to undergo some ocular surgery.
Luke 6:37 – “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 “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? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.