22 Jan. Matthew 7:1-5

22 Jan. Are you quick to judge others?

"Don't judge other people, or you will be judged. You will be judged in the same way that you judge others, and the amount you give to others will be given to you."

"Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend's eye, but you don't notice the big piece of wood in your own eye?"

"How can you say to your friend, 'Let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye'? Look at yourself! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye."

"You hypocrite! First take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend's eye."

          (Matthew 7:1-5)



In this part of his 'sermon on the mount', Jesus teaches his followers not to judge others, “or you will be judged” (Matthew 7:1).

It's so easy to judge others without knowing the background to their actions. So often we don't know the hurt, the pain, or the anxiety that caused them to speak sharply, to look miserable, or to do something we thought was unsociable.

We can think of several friends who have difficult circumstances that few people know about. One was divorced many years ago, and still has a difficult relationship with his children as a result. One was recently told he has cancer. One has an unpleasant food intolerance that few people recognise. Another cares for someone with dementia.

In each of these cases, it's hardly surprising that sometimes they feel grumpy, unhappy, unwilling to talk or just plain 'fed up'. It would be so easy to ignore them, or to say something unpleasant back to them when what they really need is a smile, a sympathetic ear, a hug, or a cup of coffee and a chat!

We don't always know how people are feeling, or why they act the way they do, and it's so easy to 'judge them'. Then we can easily miss the opportunity to offer a listening ear or a helping hand, and to help them experience God's love.

Why not ask the Holy Spirit for the patience to smile when others say something unpleasant; to forgive when they hurt us; and to keep loving them when they seem difficult to please?

The photo shows shoppers at the Wan Chai Market in Hong Kong.

You can read more from Jesus's 'sermon on the mount' on The Bible Journey website @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesuss-teachings-on-a-h…/…

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