My soul thirsts for You, the Living God. Quench my spiritual thirst with new insights from Your Word.
Read Matthew 7:1–6
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “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? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You 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.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThe wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction’ (Proverbs 16:21). Think of those who have loved you enough to gently correct you. Thank God for them.
On a popular TV talent show each contestant is paired with one of the judges, who acts as their mentor. Although that judge cannot show partiality when judging, the contestant knows that their mentor-judge will later instruct, coach, and encourage them to improve their performance, which may mean pointing out their mistakes.
Because we are slow to recognize our own sin (v 3), we need each other’s help. Turning a blind eye to something that is harming a Christian brother or sister (v 5) is not loving; neither is pointing out the fault with a harsh, critical, condemnatory spirit (v 1). We are called to be mentor-judges in our church community. We are to correct each other with humility which means beingquick to acknowledge and deal with our own faults (v 5).
As a primary school teacher I regularly remove literal specks from the eyes of distressed children. Removing them requires extreme care, encouragement, gentleness, all underpinned by love that is determined to help relieve the child’s pain. That is the kind of help Jesus calls kingdom people to give each other.
‘Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me’ (Psalm 19:12–13). Amen.
Forgive me Lord for criticism and judgment of others. I know I am dragging others down because it temporally makes me feel better! Help me to lift others up.
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