We Are Not God's Judges
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 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? 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? 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." - Matthew 7:1-5
A few mornings ago after droning on to God about something my husband did that I didn’t agree with, God stopped me right in my tracks. “I didn’t place you on earth to carry out my judgment. You are not charged with correction, you’re charged to love like Jesus, and you’re failing.” Ouch.
Things can get dicey when we judge, and try to carry out justice in the name of the Lord. How often do we think we’re doing the Lord’s work and upholding his laws for Him, but in reality, we ourselves are sinning?
Out of the two of us, my husband and myself, which of us is Jesus more likely to correct? Of course, at first glance I might say my husband for sure, then I look again. How did Jesus treat Zacchaeus and the woman at the well? With love. They saw truth and love in him, and they chose to follow the Lord. They decided to seek God because they saw His heart right there in front of them. Me? I’m over here living the life of a Pharisee.
How can we in good conscience correct and tell someone how they failed, when we are failing every day? We can’t play the role of judge, because we are already playing the role of a defendant pleading guilty. And while we are convicted of our sins, Jesus takes our guilty plea and bears the punishment on the cross.
We’re called to treat others as we want to be treated, and more than that, to love them as Jesus did without harsh judgment or words of contempt. This task, while it’s difficult, messy and requires daily diligence and grace, is the real mission that God has called us to as His children.