Tuesday, September 29

Intolerance: Judging Ourselves

"Take the log out of your own eye!"

Before we can judge rightly we need to judge ourselves first. For some reason it is easy to see problems in others yet not see them in ourselves. We can be tend to be sensitive to the very things that we want to change about ourselves. Ironic isn't it?

Jesus warned us to remove the log from our own eye before we try to take the speck from a brother or sister's eye.

Romans 2:1-4
1 You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

Matthew 7:3-5
3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

The folks in Rome felt they were safe because they were in the camp. They felt they had the right to judge others because of their position with God.

The call of God on their lives was not a license to judge others but a call to judge themselves first and to judge themselves correctly.

How were they going to do this?

The first step was to look in the mirror!

They were just as bad (v.1) and did not have a "get out of jail free card" either .... they had no excuse. Their judgment of others was actually self-condemnation since they were doing the same things (v.1b).

The mirror comes in many forms. The Scriptures are a mirror. The Holy Spirit is a mirror. Other believers are a mirror. Our children can be a mirror. Our spouses are a mirror. We must learn to see what they see if we are to judge ourselves aright. We should not be looking to remove someone's speck until we've dealt with our log problem.

The second step was to look up!

God has the solution for their sinfulness. He is wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient ... if He weren't they'd all be dead by now.

Looking up comes in many forms. Prayer is looking up. Reflection on the cross of Christ is looking up. Reflection on our true condition before a holy, perfect God is looking up. We will find the grace to deal with ourselves in truth when we remember the grace and kindness of God toward us. He is amazingly patient.

Please note the word "then" in Jesus' words above. Only after we have judged ourselves correctly and are humbled by what we find can we even dare to attempt to judge the actions of another Christian.

It is so important to allow others to speak into our lives. We NEED it. Do you have someone that loves you enough to speak into your life? Is it a person that is not impressed by you or under your authority?

I strongly encourage you to find a mentor or an accountability partner. Find someone you like and respect. Find someone that you trust. Open up. Let them look at your walk with God, your sinful habits, your marriage, the raising of your kids, your use of money ... everything.

The thought of this might be scary. Like needing heart surgery, if you are in the hands of a good surgeon you can relax and get some healing.

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