SCRIPTURE: Matthew 7:1 (NIV) – larger reading Matthew 7:1-12
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
In his little book Illustrations of Bible Truth, H.A. Ironside pointed out the folly of judging others. He related an incident in the life of a man called Bishop Potter. "He was sailing for Europe on one of the great transatlantic ocean liners. When he went on board, he found that another passenger was to share the cabin with him. After going to see the accommodations, he came up to the purser's desk and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship's safe. He explained that ordinarily he never availed himself of that privilege, but he had been to his cabin and had met the man who was to occupy the other berth. Judging from his appearance, he was afraid that he might not be a very trustworthy person. The purser accepted the responsibility for the valuables and remarked, 'It's all right, bishop, I'll be very glad to take care of them for you. The other man has been up here and left his for the same reason!'"
The borders are crossed by unaccompanied children and teenagers… and we judge. The abortion clinic doors open and a pregnant young woman walks out… and we judge. A politician from the “other” party makes a statement… and we judge. A smelly person sleeps on a park bench… and we judge. A mother yells at her child… and we judge.
Some try to justify the act of judgment (as they did several weeks ago when I posted a different blog on judging) based on appearance and yet it is still judgment. Both ways is the desire… we want the privilege to judge others, but we don’t want to be judged.
Evidently God is trying to tell me something. I follow a devotional source in which scripture to use. The scripture chooses me not the other way around. It was a surprise when this scripture appeared as the scripture of choice. It was as if God was saying: “Martin, pay attention on the judging others side of your personality.” Okay, I’m starting to get the message… I think.
The second portion of today’s scripture reading talks about ask, seek, knock. What stands in our way is this judging tendency. Got to get rid of the hindrances before there can be any finding… or at least that is the way with me. My spiritual longings lay bloodied on the devotional floor because of the tendency to quickly pass judgment… looking at the outward appearance without taking the time to discover the real person.
Bishop Potter story brings me up short every time. It is humbling to be judged by the same standard that others might use. I’m wondering: Will Old Peter pull out my past standards of judgment and use them against me to determine if I get to pass go and collect $250 (ie eternity)? I know better, but it humbles the cheese grits out of me every time I think about it. It stops me in my tracks every time and sends me directly to jail.
Judging others God actually can be kind of fun (at times), but this judge not stuff takes the wind out of my sails. I really need help not to justify my actions, but to clarify my spiritual desires… and lots of help getting there.