“Stop judging, that you may not be judged”

Jesus gives us a straightforward command in Matthew 7:1-5, one few today seem to heed.

Jesus said to his disciples:
Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

Jesus’ lesson in this reading is very straightforward: Don’t judge others.

We all have plenty to be judged by, despite our self-perceived piety and self-righteousness. But there seem to be many among us who haven’t taken Jesus’ words to heart. They see a fault in others and point their fingers and shout it out to the world. Or even if they don’t shout it out to the world, they still find ways to point it out in a hurtful and unjust way. Well, according to Jesus, so it will go for them.

What are the wooden beams in our own eyes? Jesus tells us to remove them before we try to remove the splinter from someone else’s eye. It’s another way of saying, “Let he who is not a sinner cast the first stone” and “if they will not condemn you, neither will I.”

He who was without sin refused to condemn sinners. How can we who are sinners do differently? And Jesus says, as we treat others so God will treat us. Think about it.

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