“7 ‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.
2 For with the judgement you make you will be judged,
and the measure you give will be the measure you get.
3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye,
but do not notice the log in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your neighbour,
“Let me take the speck out of your eye”,
while the log is in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)
“Discernment” is such a nicer word that “judging.” We like to think our point of view is right and the other is wrong. This sounds seriously like what we talk about with the polarization of our cultural thinking these days. The “other” has gone beyond being different to wrong to evil to acts of rage and violence against innocent children. We grieve and demand justice. We want the law to enforce our moral belief system.
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount changes the focus from the “other” to ourselves. Eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth thinking produces a blind and toothless society. The kingdom of heaven challenges us to look at our own hearts and actions as the starting place. Only God can make a fair decision and he promises justice (tempered with mercy, I believe). It is always a good warning sign when we emotionally over react to a situation. When our sense of injustice erupts into rage, violent language, and threats, we need to stop and decompress – pray. When we find ourselves sliding down the rabbit hole of reliving, rethinking, and fixating on perceived insults, we need to find a friend and get another’s perspective. It is hard to admit we have a “log in our own eye,” a blind spot in our thinking but anger is often not logical. Vengeance disguised as justice will never bring love and compassion.
Perhaps anger is not a problem for you but I suspect we all get offended and get our feelings hurt. Let us take a moment today and ponder if there is someone we need to forgive or mend bridges with. Life is too short and too hard to add an additional burden of anger. Let God carry it for you!