Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV) says, “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.”
From the time we first start developing our memories, we remember wrongs done to us. The first child to take our favorite toy, the first adolescent to give us a serious shove, or the first teenager to break our hearts are all individuals who can be burnt into our memory banks. We know when someone has done something bad to us or our immediate relatives. Just human nature I guess. We see the faults and wrongful actions of others with more clarity than we do our own transgressions.
I know a man who never uses profanity, never raises his voice, and is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. This same man criticizes everyone for every mistake or purposeful error they commit. Nonstop, hour by hour, he has someone to judge for acting in an irresponsible way. Yet, when this same man gets behind the wheel of a car, he has no regard for traffic laws. His excuse? “I know how to drive a car like no other person in Northwest Indiana.” And he truly believes this gives him the right to disobey traffic etiquette and laws.
Matthew 7:3 (NIV) continues to instruct us. “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?”
It is a good question. Imagine you’re a long distance runner. Let’s say the marathon is your event. Now let’s imagine you haven’t been able to finish the whole 26.2 miles in your last three attempts. Along comes another runner who wants to join your national team for the world championships, and you hear rumors that he doesn’t train on the weekends. You immediately begin criticizing such a lackadaisical approach to training even though your methods have not produced any significant results. This closely resembles the act of judging others when we are not found guiltless.
Now this does not mean we should not use CONSTRUCTIVE criticism to help our brothers and sisters become better people. Telling others we notice they are headed in the wrong direction should be done in a loving and positive way. And when you run into those people who you do not feel comfortable trying to help in person, pray for them. I’m sure they would appreciate it.