Thursday, August 6, 2015
“Don’t criticize, and then you won’t be criticized. For others will treat you as you treat them.” Matthew 7:1-2 Living Bible
It’s easy for us to point the finger at others, yet God’s word tells us not to judge. The self-righteous Pharisees were famous for criticizing others, yet Jesus said their hearts were evil. If we judge others, then we will be judged in the same manner – by God and by others. There is a time to correct a sister or a brother, but this should be as the Spirit leads. Judging others is not to become our primary “ministry”. Jesus said we should look at our own lives to remove the plank in our own eye so we can remove the speck in our neighbor’s eye. We must remember that we are all sinners, that we all have faults. After searching our hearts, we should first of all pray for that individual. In fact, the majority of the time it would be best for us to stop at this juncture. Prayer, most often, is the best way to assist our neighbor when we notice something in them that is inconsistent with upright Christian living.
But sometimes prayer is not enough. We should ask the Lord, for His guidance. If we sense that the Jesus is leading us to confront someone, then we are to restore our brother or sister gently. We are to speak the truth of God’s word in love. Love must permeate this encounter.
Let’s guard our hearts against being critical of others. Love is to be our aim. Let’s be quick to pray and slow to speak. If the body of Christ were to put this into practice it would have a profound effect on our churches and in our world.