Grace and Peace to you
Jesus said: “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For the judgment you make you will be judged and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye. Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.” Mathew 7:1-6
I can’t tell you how often I hear people quoting this scripture — well parts of it at least — especially the first three words: “Do not judge…”
I hear it most often used in response to someone who makes their opinion known about some or other matter. The “do not judge” comment tends to silence the objecting opinion as if we should not judge whether something is right or wrong, but this was not Jesus’ intention at all. Sadly this false interpretation can result in us simply copping out from the responsibility to stand up to wrong doing. It can also be used to stop uncomfortable but necessary conversations from happening.
Jesus is not saying that we should stop discerning right from wrong. However, he is saying that we are never in a position to judge ourselves as better human beings than others.
Living with the truth that we are no better than anybody else should humble us but not silence us when we witness abuse or injustice or corruption taking place.
O God, who am I now?
Once, I was secure
in familiar territory
in my sense of belonging
unquestioning of the norms of my culture
the assumptions built into my language the values shared
by my society.
But now you have called me out and away from home
and I do not know where you are leading.
I am empty, unsure, uncomfortable.
I have only a beckoning star to follow.
pitch your tent with mine so that I may not become
deterred by hardship, strangeness, doubt.
Show me the movement I must make
toward a wealth not dependent on possessions
toward a wisdom not based on books
toward a strength not bolstered by might
toward a God not confined to heaven
but scandalously earthed, poor, unrecognised…
Help me to find myself
as I walk in others’ shoes.
~ Kate Compston