February 9

Matthew 7:1-2, 5 1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

5You 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.

This has become one of the favorite verses of the Bible, but for all the wrong reasons. The world culture of today would like us to believe that there is no clear cut good or evil. It teaches that what is good for you may be evil to me. Postmodern philosophy teaches that everything is subjective. In other words, it depends on how you personally experience something in your particular environment. You can see how this verse would suddenly become popular.

Jesus isn't teaching that there is no such thing as evil. It is very clear from His teachings that He believes in good and evil, God and Satan. What Jesus is teaching is that we need to deal with our own sins first. We need to get our act cleaned up before we go out of our way to accuse others. Recognition of our own weaknesses will help us deal with others in gentle humility. That is more likely to be received. Without that, we come across as pompous hypocrites.

Jesus is not rebuking those who point out other's faults. In fact, verse 5 encourages us to help our brother overcome his faults. By recognizing that the measure we use to judge others is the same one that will be used to judge us, we look for the biggest measure of grace and the smallest measure of justice. Ignoring sin only leads to destruction. We can't do that for others or for ourselves. Let us deal with it the way the Father does. He applies mercy and grace but He does not ignore justice and the need for change. Don't point you finger at others without dealing with the issues in your own life first.

Consider: What issues have you been avoiding?