Our scripture today is Matthew 7:1-6.
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
Jesus warns against holding others accountable if we are not holding ourselves accountable. He tells us “the standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged” (v. 2). Notice He isn’t saying we shouldn’t confront sin, but to be sure we are not like the Pharisees who pointed out the sins of everyone else, but not their own.
This is a difficult lesson but one we must all take to heart. No one is perfect, we all have sin in our lives. Jesus knows this and wants to help us do better, and to help others do better as well. His point is that we must not want punishment as did those in the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). The leaders in this story used the situation to try to discredit Jesus, but He shows them that unless they admit their own sin, they have no authority to demand punishment for others. Jesus wants us to be restored, not punished. He sends the accused on her way with the instruction to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
This is His message, that even those who have sinned can be forgiven if they are repentant and make an effort to live a better life. We will always encounter difficulty in our faith journey. He told us it wouldn’t be easy but that the blessings of eternal life with God are worth every suffering we bear. By asking guidance from the Holy Spirit, we can overcome the obstacles that the world throws in our path.
Loving Lord, we are sorry for the times we have accused others without first being aware of our own sins. Help us to be brave and honest when we are opposed by evil, admitting our weakness and proclaiming Your strength. Amen.