Ever thought you were better than someone else? Ever judged someone because of something they’ve done, or not done? We can probably all answer ‘yes’ to those questions. We can be quick to point out other people’s faults, talk behind their backs, or damage our relationships by criticising. But Jesus said: ‘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’ (Matthew 7:3-5 NIV). This whole story shows how we shouldn’t be judging others because we can also be judged for things. None of us are perfect, only God is. And He is the only One who can judge. In Romans, it says: ‘If you think you can judge others, you are wrong. When you judge them, you are really judging yourself guilty, because you do the same things they do. God judges those who do wrong things, and we know that his judging is right’ (2:1-2 NCV). In the Message, Jesus’ words are paraphrased: ‘Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticise their faults – unless, of course, you want the same treatment.’ Instead of judging and criticising, Paul says, ‘When we have the opportunity to help…we should do it’ (Galatians 6:10 NCV). So we need to be looking for ways to bless people, even when we know they can’t do anything in return for us. We need to be encouraging people and making them feel valued.
Next time you find yourself judging someone, stop and ask God to show you something you need to work on in your life.