There is a lot of talk – confusion, even – in Christian circles about judgement. The topic comes up fairly regularly, often after someone is accused of being “judgmental” (or judged to be judgmental, as the case may be).
This is how it usually goes down:
A professed believer comments on a matter inconsistent with their beliefs. In response, someone else tosses out Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” The believer then replies that, if they continue reading until they get to the part about log and speck extraction, they’d see that it’s not about never making judgments but about meeting a specific condition before proceeding. Sometimes a word about recognizing a tree by it’s fruit gets tossed in if there’s time before objects take flight and people run for cover.
Overall, as a general rule, very little – if any – agreement is reached between the two parties. And so the cycle repeats itself – over and over and over again.
It’s a dilemma – especially in this age of political correctness. How do we rightly address sensitive issues in such a time as this? What is the right balance between love and truth?
I asked myself those questions regularly as I encountered different people and situations in life. Looking back, I believed that my head and heart had an adequate understanding.
That is, until the Lord decided to shed some Light.
He did so by drawing attention to my thoughts as I observed someone doing something – something totally and completely innocuous, ironically – of which I did not approve.
“I would never…”
You would never what?? What is it that you would never do?? Oh, you mean that thing that other person is doing?? Are you absolutely certain…?
Ouch. Yeah, that one left a mark.
Step up, folks. I’d like to draw your attention to Exhibit A, otherwise known as the log in my own eye:
“I would never…”
Suddenly, it became clear. Go figure. Funny how taking a massive piece of wood out of one’s eye has that effect.
Just that fast, God revealed my blind spot. He showed me that, before I even consider addressing another person or speaking to a sensitive issue, I’d better first replace my “I would never” with “there, but for His grace, go I.”
Furthermore, those had better not be words to which I merely give consent, but a knowing I have to the very depths of my soul.
With every person. In every situation.
There have since been times when I’ve found myself on the receiving end of log blindness, albeit indirectly. Although the offenses were directed towards a nameless, faceless population of women, I recognized how my face could have easily been among them.
I wanted to cry out,
“Don’t you see?
Apart from His grace, that girl is me!
Don’t you understand?
Apart from His grace, that girl is you.“