Photography by Haas Mengloi
Recently at church, Ps. Melissa Pierce, Generation Church preached the message instead of Ps. Ben. Melissa is a great encourager and always brings a great Word from the Lord. She made a statement that has resonated with me since last week. “The cure for judging others is self-evaluation.” It’s a powerful statement if you let it sink in. It reminds me of the scripture in Matthew.
Matthew 7:1-5 (NKJV)
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
When I was in my 20’s right out of college, I began my career as a court reporter. In that profession, you end up waiting around sometimes in courtrooms, deposition rooms, etc., and you find yourself spending quite a bit of time with attorneys. I remember a conversation with a defense attorney that actually shocked me at the time. He said during the jury selection process, if a person tells him that they are a Christian, he uses one of his challenges to get them off of the jury. I asked him why? I thought that he would want a Christian on the jury, someone who is fair and impartial, full of love, compassion, mercy and a sense of justice. He said, “Christians are the most judgmental people I know.” How do you even respond to that? I was so grieved in my spirit.
So why are Christians so judgmental? After all, don’t we hold ourselves up to the same standards that we would hold someone else? Maybe “that” is the problem. Maybe we don’t. Maybe the solution is to look at the plank in our eye instead of our neighbor’s. Maybe it’s time to do some “self-evaluation.”
What does judging others actually do for us? I think it is a way of putting ourselves in a higher position in our heart and mind. Yet the belief that causes us to judge someone and exalt ourselves is actually a deception, a lie that we have believed. The only One who can bring truth to the lies that we believe and break the deception is the Lord.
How does judging that person make me feel? Prideful? Ashamed? Find out what pride and shame speak to you, and maybe then you’ll be ready to hear truth from the One who is Truth. The Bible says that if you ask, He will answer. So when you catch yourself judging someone else, ask the Lord why you’re really doing it. Ask Him to reveal what is deep inside that has been hurt and/or probably judged by someone else. Ask Him what He wants you to know about that situation or that hurt, that judgment from others. If you will sit with Him, take time with Him, He will heal your heart and restore it to a far better place. Then when you are tempted to judge someone for the speck in their eye, maybe you will be willing to first get the plank out of yours so that you are able to see from God’s perspective.
Let us be Christians who are known for their love and unity. Let us, as Christians, lead by example according to Timothy.
1 Timothy 4:12 (NKJV) 12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Let it never be said that Christians are the most judgmental people.