Sunday, July 16, 2017

A common judgement

At Cottage Grove Church this morning in Des Moines, and a friend --- the pastor --- is speaking on Matthew 7 1-12.

It's a familiar passage from the Sermon on the Mount, and it starts with a oft-spoken phrase, "Jusge not lest you be judged."

I loved his metaphor --- imagine running cross country and a dad on the sideline drinking pop and eating cookies and telling you how to make it up the next hill. "You have never done this before, and you can't do it. Stop telling me how unless you do it yourself."

We use the wrong standard --- a sinful standard --- when we judge others. We aren't perfect, and we can't expect others to be. We are actually unable to judge, because we have such issues within ourselves. We look through foggy glasses, through a log, through sin, and that means we can't see that speck in someone else. We aren't objective.

"You're foolish. Your sin issues are larger than the person you're calling out."

Instead, approach others humbly and look at yourself as just as much of the problem in a conflict than the other person. When I do blame myself for something, I often feel like the culture is instead telling me, "No, you're the victim. It's not your fault." That's not how I should be looking at it. I should be humble and realize I have a sinful nature that is preventing me from being objective.

Verse 5 says to take the log out of your own eye and then you can help take the speck out of your brother's eye. So you are allowed to address sin, but to help, and after you have humbly looked at the situation. There's a right way to judge sin --- from God's viewpoint, and with the understanding that we are also sinful and want to help.

The verse about not casting pearls before swine, means don't throw valuables to filth. Trying to share correction with a scoffer, an evil person --- not only will be a waste but it will also harm you. Sometimes we must step back and let God do the heart change. However, it does not mean to give up on people. Maybe it's best to pray first and speak second. I forget the prayer part a lot.

Basically, the point is that God has given us grace, has taken our judgment. We need to treat others in a way that shows we understand this.

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