Sometimes in our daily lives certain events lead us to contemplation, and this week those events have lead me to the first few verses in Matthew 7. Verses 1-2 say, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you,” and this got me to thinking…
Why is it so easy for us to see the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye, and yet we totally ignore the plank in our own? And why do we even feel compelled to point it out? We readily see the faults of others and rarely see our own. Why do we expect others to live up to the standards that we ourselves are not disciplined enough to achieve, and isn’t pointing out to others what we perceive to be their faults another way of judging them? We are not on the other side of that fence; we don’t know what has happened over there, or what has been brought to fruition as a result of the happenings.
Matthew 6:37 says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” What if we just let others be who they are without condescension, without arrogance, and without disrespect. What if we really did love each other as we would be loved? What if we took as much time and trouble to point out to ourselves where we are lacking, spending our energy improving ourselves through meditation, prayer, self-awareness and self-control, instead of trying to perfect others by criticizing, scorning, belittling and ridiculing them?
It’s mind-boggling to me how, at times, it can be so difficult for us to accept responsibility for ourselves. We look to others, to outside sources, in any direction except in the mirror. We want to blame someone or something for the situation that we find ourselves in, and we never even consider that the reason we find ourselves where we are is because of the choices we have made. We choose the direction, we navigate the waters, and we find ourselves in precisely the place we’ve been headed to all along. Even if we aren’t exactly aware of how we’ve come to this pass, one thing’s for certain,we didn’t take the other road, we took this one, and we are on the course we choose.
James 2:13 tells us, “There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. “ Living a wise life is about being lifted up, about lifting others up, about striving for a higher vibration – the vibration of love and patience. We cannot change others, only ourselves, and it’s our perspective that either makes a prisoner of us, or sets us free.