Who Are We to Judge?…
This week, I experienced this first hand:
“Stop judging, 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 notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” -Matthew 7:1-5, NAB
At one point in time or another, we will all be guilty of this. Whether we judge someone outwardly through our words and actions, or we judge them inwardly in our hearts, we judge them just the same. In can be one of the most difficult weaknesses that we have to overcome.
Our bodies were designed to judge and discern information from the world around us. God gave us very adept senses, and we use those senses to perceive what is happening. While our senses are natural, unjustly judging another person is something different. We may not like to admit it, but we can control what we think and feel. Our natural reaction to our emotions may say one thing, but we can be masters of our own reactions.
This week, I was on the opposite end of someone’s judgment, so I felt anyway. Their intentions may have been different, but I felt judged by what they said. This verse immediately came to mind. Who was this person to condemn me for my actions? Who was this person to call out my mistakes when I can see much larger ones in their life? Worst of all, this person was assuming that I was doing something wrong, but their facts were completely wrong.
The whole situation made me very angry. It honestly took me days to feel somewhat better about it. Now, as I look back, I learned a very valuable lesson. I hated the way I felt because of all of this. I hated being judged, especially when it was not justified. So, this taught me how I must make others feel when I judge them. Including in this situation, I judged this person for judging me, and two wrongs do not make a right.
This verse is often used in defense against someone who is criticizing another person, but, if we use it, we must make sure that we are not beginning to judge ourselves. As Catholics and Christians, we must learn to accept our brothers and sisters, no matter who they are or what mistakes they make. We are Christ’s example of forgiveness to the world, but we are not being a very good example if we cannot learn to forgive one another first.