Measure Up To What You Judge

Matthew 7:1-5
2Kings 17:5-8,13-15,18 / Ps 60

Do not judge, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
(Matt.7:1-2)

Rather than judging we should praise,
Admiring more than criticize;
We may not like each other’s ways,
But we’re all precious in God’s eyes.

Do not judge, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye and not see the the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)

Reflection

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?” How can we correct the small defects or mistakes that we see in others if we are blinded by the bigger defects of bias and prejudice?

Prejudice chains the hearts of those who love to judge others for their mistakes. Like a smokescreen, fault-finding becomes their shield because they cannot face up to or admit their own inadequacies. Only those who are honest enough to admit their limitations and humbly admit their mistakes tend to be more compassionate and understanding of others’ faults or failings.

The narrower the mind clogged by biases and prejudice, the lesser the leeway for tolerance and compassion. The wider our perspective, the bigger our hearts.

At times we may not be aware that we are being judgmental when we start feeling that we are more knowledgeable or experienced than our peers in matters of faith or doctrines of the Church. Which makes humility a most important virtue that never fails to soothe hurt feelings or ruffled feathers. Even if we believe that our position is right or correct, deferring to our elders is always the better part of an argument, and submission to authority the more prudent path to a harmonious relationship.

Our Friday Teaching Nights are part of the continuing formation in our brotherhood, which at times become lively fora for the exchange of ideas, opinions and even heated arguments. It never fails that there is a brother who might sound too vociferous, seem a bit opinionated, or appear to have an attitude problem. We see the splinter in his eye, but may be missing the wisdom that he wishes to impart.

It is not only other people that we should not judge, but ourselves as well. When we have a passive or negative opinion of ourselves, we cannot tap the dynamo of creative powers within that are just waiting to be harnessed. It is our faith in God and in ourselves that will release them.

Let our attitude be one of praise, Lord, and not of criticism; one of wonder at the beauty and grandeur of Your creation, and the goodness of your children. Amen.

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