Scripture: Matthew 7:1-12
Key verse: (1) Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.
Reflection: On New Year’s eve we had a truth-telling tradition for several years after college with a group of close friends. Reputations were revealed and unknown character traits were shared to help us grow. It was helpful to hear some of the information. As years went on, distance and competition turned our truth-telling into a time where we could judge.
The gospel of Matthew is very practical. Jesus words are very direct. Do not judge. That is pretty good advice. It could end there but Jesus also calls out our tendency to put ourselves above others by lifting up another person’s flaws. We cannot take a speck out of a neighbor’s eye when we have a plank in our own. It is not just about our own sin we do not see. Jesus is challenging our perceptions and assumptions. Do not judge. It seems practical and easy but the follow through will take some effort and practice.
Jesus is trying to guide his followers as they seek to find peace within themselves, as they live together in community and in relationship with God. Refraining from judging others will bring about peacefulness and contentment.
Prayer: God, help me not to judge, gossip or try to justify my judgement because I might be helping my neighbor. Help me focus on you and following your son in all I do. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].
*This month, the youth of Myers Park Presbyterian Church invite you to join us in a Spiritual Practice of Taking Notice. With Gratitude. It is easy to sign up. Text @takenotice to 81010 You will get a text every day with a challenge to practice gratitude, contentment, simplicity, generosity and to seek joy. It is only 3 weeks.