Matthew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
A few nights ago a close friend called and asked me if his wife had talked to me in regards to being upset with him. He was at a loss, as she had failed to speak with him in 5 days. After hanging up with him, I shared this with my wife, as we had been concerning for our friends’ marriage for some time. Later that same night, the man’s wife came our house and lamented to my wife that her husband had not spoken to her in 5 days.
There were serious break downs in communication here. There were false perceptions made. There were real pride issues causing them to arrive at some foolish and destructive assumptions. They were focusing on themselves and their unmet needs rather than seeking to tend to one another’s needs. Frustration had mounted to the point to where they were seemingly unaware as to how they were individually exacerbating the problem. I do not believe either party had any premeditated or malicious intent to hurt the other. Foolishness, arrogance, and pride made them virtually blind to their own actions and attitudes.
This well known passage in Matthew does not prohibit us from making decisions regarding other people. If it were so, relationships and life would be seemingly impossible to navigate. Rather, the principle here is that, oftentimes, it is helpful to take a long hard look at ourselves before we come to conclusions about another. If we are unable to accurately evaluate our own character in light of Scripture, then we should be extremely cautious in any attempts we make in judging another by that same standard.
This is particularly important for us to bear in mind in the non confrontational culture we find ourselves in today. Too frequently, when relational tension arises, Christians fail to seek reconciliation with one another. Unity dissolves. Cold shoulders take their place. Poor assumptions lead to indifference, indifference leads to relational death. It ought not be this way. If we humbly examine our heart, attitudes, and motives, if we filter them through Scripture, then we honor God with our obedience and honor the one we differ with by extending to them grace and an open hand of fellowship.