Originally posted on February 8, 2020
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.”
Matthew 7:1-5 NRSV
Have you ever noticed the last verse in the passage says, “then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye”? You will see clearly. Jesus isn’t giving us permission to lord our perceived perfection (because none of us are log or speck free) over someone else but telling us that when we address our own brokenness and imperfections we will see clearly that all of us are imperfect and need grace and understanding.
My “goodness” or righteousness doesn’t come from anyone else’s “badness”. My perfection doesn’t come from anyone else’s imperfection. My ability to be loving and kind can only come from within me and as a follower of a Jesus, I believe it truly comes from the power of God’s love for me and for all people. To be formed by God’s love requires me to see the image of God in myself and in all people.
When I can see the image of God in others, then I clearly see them. I clearly see that it isn’t my duty to remove their speck but, with God’s help, to take care of what in me is blocking my Christ-like vision for others. And then I can truly walk in love and understanding with those who are working on their own eyes. Seeing clearly to help them doesn’t mean I judge and condemn but that I treat them with compassion and love as together we walk with Jesus in the Way of Love.
May God fill your day with peace and joy and love, my friends.