My Nana lives in an assisted care facility. You would think that since she lives with other people her age, who have to live in the same building and eat every meal together, she wouldn’t struggle to make friends. Sadly, that’s not always the case.
Recently, Martha, one of the ladies she spent time with, came into her room and declared, “I can’t be friends with you anymore.”
Somewhat shocked Nana asked, “Oh, why is that?”
“Well, Ethyl from down the hall said I shouldn’t spend time with you anymore because you’re not a good influence.”
“And do you believe them?” asked Nana.
“Well, I don’t know. But that’s what she said, so I guess I better do it.” Martha said and then left the room.
I probably should mention that both of these ladies are in their eighties, and I’ve never seen Nana be a bad influence on anyone. Isn’t it shocking to think that even at that age, people can still be judgmental? I guess some people never grow out of it.
No one likes to be judged, but sadly some of us love to judge others. Thankfully, Jesus had a lot to say about not judging others.
Here are three questions you should ask before you judge someone:
1. Do I want to be judged this way?
We often judge others way more harshly than we do ourselves. We need to keep in mind that the standard we use is the standard we get.
Here’s how Jesus put it.
“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.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
Before you cast the stone on someone’s imperfections, ask yourself, “Do I want this same stone thrown back at me?”
2. Is there a tree growing out of my eye?
Too often, we focus on the smallest imperfection in someone else’s life when we have a significant flaw in our own.
In dealing with this issue, Jesus asks us, “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!” (Matthew 7:3-5)
A hypocrite tells other people about their problems while at the same time pretending that they don’t have any. It’s always wise to do a self-evaluation before you make a judgment.
3. Should I deal with my issues first?
The short answer to this is, YES!
It’s precisely what Jesus told us to do when he said, “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.” (Matthew 7:5)
Jesus didn’t say you have to be perfect before you can help a friend. He was simply saying that we should work on our issue before we go delving into everyone else’s.
When we work on our own sin, we eat some humble pie and grow our spiritual maturity. Then when we have a friend in need, we have experienced what it means to come out of failure into the grace of God.
Talk it over:
- Who are you judging right now? Are you making those judgments from a godly place?
- Who are you talking about right now? Read James 4:11-12 and see if it aligns with your conversations.