“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, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Luke 6:41-42)
“They’re just too judge-y.” We hear this all the time about the Church, people who go to church, and Christians in general. The passage from Luke 6:37-42 shows Jesus talking about this very thing. I wonder if we unpack it a little further, we might be surprised to discover what we find…
I’m not sure Jesus is telling us not to judge others but instead to be careful with the manner in which we judge. However we judge, we should expect to be judged in the same way. Jesus is not asking us to ignore the sawdust in another’s eye, in fact, he wants us to help remove it but not before we deal with our own sawdust.
No one can judge the heart of another, that is not our place. We can however judge the words, actions, and attitudes of one’s life. We judge with grace because we need grace. We give forgiveness because we need to be given forgiveness. Judgement in this way becomes more about helping and healing than pointing out faults. It is helping to remove the sawdust, not just point out that it’s there.
May we judge with grace and find the verdict is mercy.