Judge With Mercy and Grace

1 Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log 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 brother’s eye. ~ Matthew 7:1-5

When Cain was confronted by God after he killed his own brother, he asked God if he was his brother’s keeper. The answer is yes, Cain, you are. And so are we. We are our brother’s keeper, but here’s the catch though, we must also keep watch over our own souls. If I’m honest, this is one of my least favorite verses, but only because of how people have taken it out of context in order to make an excuse for their own sin that they want to live in. The older I get, the more in contact I come with people who are quick to judge and pronounce judgment on anyone who refuses to accept their beliefs. And as time goes on, I understand why Jesus made a point to say this.

It’s easy to judge someone else and think ourselves better than them. We don’t sin like them. We don’t make mistakes like they do. When we act like this, and we make a true self-evaluation, we should easily see that we have become Frollo (the villain of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Throughout the movie, he’s wicked, evil, and unjust, yet he sees himself as better than the common person. As better than the hunchback because the hunchback is deformed and Frollo is not. He then sings this verse:

Beata Maria…
You know I am a righteous man.
And of my virtue, I am justly proud.

Beata Maria…
You know I’m so much purer than
the common, vulgar,
weak, licentious crowd…

Throughout the song, he defends himself. It’s never his fault. He’s never to blame. It’s Esmerelda’s (the Gypsy Girl) fault. She set a flame in him, causing him to sin. He then even blames God.

It’s not my fault!
If in God’s plan,
He made the devil so much
stronger than a man!

Never do you see him look in the mirror and say, it’s my fault. I’ve messed up. I’ve made the mistake. Instead, he becomes more and more evil and wicked without even realizing it. His own pride blocked him from seeing that the judgment he set for others was the very judgment by which he would perish. He set all of Paris on fire and wanted to cast those he deemed as sinners into that fire, but instead, it was he that fell into the fire.

When we are quick to pronounce judgment on others and never show mercy or grace, that same judgment will be how the LORD judges us. So, we are to judge with mercy and grace. We’re not to judge with hatred, but we’re to judge the fruit. We’re to look at people’s actions and judge whether they are good or evil. Whether they need to be corrected or praised. This is our duty as Christians. We are not to want punishment for the wicked, but we are to pray for them that the LORD might show them mercy and open their blind eyes to see the Truth of who He is.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Judge With Mercy and Grace.

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