Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Speck Vs Plank
by Glynis M Belec
It bothers me immensely when Christians judge other Christians in a mean-spirited way. Actually, it bothers me when anybody judges anybody negatively, because it isn’t in the ‘be nice to other humans’ job description. In Matthew 7:1-5 we read this:
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.
Excellent direction for those times when we think we are right and someone else isn’t.
Someone with a beam in her eye cannot see things clearly. She has little discernment. As much as is possible, and in all humility, we need to leave judging to God alone. Although I do believe this scripture verse does say – it is okay to judge – once you’ve removed the log from your own eye!
I believe we have a moral responsibility to judge ethical behavior of others—but only if we are humbly aware that we are not always right and sometimes we can be dead wrong. And the key to proper judgement is to do it quietly and in love.
Look what it says in Romans 3:23:
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard (NLT)
Our ability to judge is limited because we are sinful people. And we might want to rememberhat one day, this will happen— 2 Corinthians 5:10:
For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body who will ourselves, one day, come under judgment.
I am thinking that it’s not so much the act of judging that is the issue, but from what I understand, it’s the attitude with which we do it that matters.
It’s okay to be discerning about someone’s character or teaching that seems askew according to God’s word. But when we address this we are not to do it with ruthless Bible-thumping, harsh words and threatening insults.
It’s okay to speak to a fellow Christian about something you believe is sinful according to what is taught in the Bible, remembering that interpretation is at play. Speaking in love, in private is the correct way to approach a person—not speaking about him publicly or behind his back, spreading gossip because you think others should ‘hear this, too!’
Check out Matthew 18:15:
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.)
If I am jealous of someone and I criticize him, then I am not building him up. I am attempting to tear him down. Not nice.
If I think I know the whole story (facts, motives) but I jump to conclusions, then I judge wrongly – I am merely going on hearsay and opinion. Not right.
If I make up my own rules because I think I interpreted God correctly, mainly because I want things a certain way—as in distorting the truth to suit—then I need to look out. Bad move.
If I am not a nice person to be around and I consistently point out everyone else’s shortcomings but don’t bother looking at myself, then I have a whopping great log in my eye blocking my vision; which makes me arrogant, judgmental. Time to look within.
If I share confidential information with the wrong intent (humiliation verse humility) then I am messing up big time, because I have no right to make someone look bad.
If I am being self-righteous and critical over something that might mean one thing to me and something else to someone else, then I deserve to get pinched by God.
And I think, most importantly, if I think I have the right to say that someone is going to hell (pronouncing eternal damnation) then who do I think I am? Look out for the thunder!
It’s not my job to usurp God as Judge.
I know the best thing I can do to resolve conflicts, or to stop judging is to submit to God by showing love and living the Fruits of the Spirits as best as I can (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.)
Loving words don’t tear down. People can choose to react how they wish, but as a Christian I should speak loving and kind words even though I might be considered judging. I try to use kind words even if I am judging a contest or teaching children about right choices or working with writers to help them improve their work.
If I am harsh and heavy handed with my words, beating others over the head with the Bible, then I am working on making myself look like I know it all and ultimately, I am loving myself more than I love others. Our words and deeds need to reflect God, not my own stubborn pride, thinking I have all the answers.
Know what happens when I imply I am the one with all the answers? People get defensive and arguments ensue or they run away, not wanting anything to do with all that Christian hypocritical nonsense. Not a very good witness for the Kingdom.
Resolving conflicts involves an operation—removal of the plank, and then healing—demonstration of God’s unconditional, non-judgmental love.
I’ve got my surgery booked. How about you?
Glynis lives, loves, laughs and does an awful lot of reading, writing, publishing and praying in her home office.
How thrilled Glynis is to be part of GOOD GRIEF PEOPLE (Angel Hope Publishing) - an anthology filled with stories that help readers recognize, honour and celebrate the individuality of grief. www.glynisbelec.com
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