"Do not judge lest you be judged.
For in the way you judge, you will be judged;
and by your standard of measure,
it will be measured to you."
-- Matthew 7:1-2,
The Bible, NAS
[Classic post from 5-26-11]
In the past number of posts, I've been thinking and writing about things that I've learned over time, along with those that I have had to practice on to get good at and thereby make the message my own.
I love really great quotes where ever I find them and having read the Bible a couple of times completely myself, I have found a number of golden nuggets that continue to serve me and also act as reminders to my own frailties. Matthew 7 about judgment is one of them, and it is probably one of the most quoted Bible quotes in existence. However, what is not quoted very often is verses 3 through 5 that come after and it adds immensely to the fullness of verses 1 and 2. So, here is the whole of it verses 1 through 5:
"Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, 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 brother's eye."
As I look back on all that I have learned from the Bible, I know that this is easily one of the most important verse selections in my life. It is one that I remind myself of so much more even today than at any other time. I have realized just how powerfully magnificent it is and also how real and true it is and how it helps me to be a far better person than I might ever become.
To me, the lesson is not judgment but is about loving one another, which is the single most important lesson in the Bible for me (John 13:34). When I realize how silly it is for me to judge someone else (and this requires practice on my part), it allows and encourages me to see them as like me and to love them the way they are. It is true enough that what goes around, comes around. You never know how treating someone poorly or without respect will come back to you.
A long time ago, I was in a transition struggling with what exactly to do. I went to work for a small used car lot as a temporary idea, and I knew the manager--or at least I knew of him and his name, but little else. He treated me very poorly and I left. They tried to stiff me on minimum wage pay and it just was sad. Fast forward ten years give or take and I am the general sales manager at a dealership, and guess who comes in looking for a job? I don't think he even made the connection.
Judgment is the easiest thing in the world. It is also the easiest thing in the world to be wrong about. We are all deeper than we seem. We are all made of the same exact materials. We all come from the same source. We are far more connected than not. All the more reason for looking at ourselves with a critical eye before we look at others. Better yet--looking at ourselves with a loving eye, and then with that same loving eye toward others.
Who Am I To Judge? Even Moses Didn't Want The Job. . .
Spread Some Joy Today--The more we see each other as ourselves, the more love and joy we find. It is true.