Day 12 // Judging My Neighbor
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5).”
Each of us must strive to be patient and understanding with our neighbors’ shortcomings, just as God and Christ are patient with ours. If we fail to recognize our own faults, how can we expect others to recognize theirs? In our desire to see our neighbors change, we must be willing to contend just as hard to change ourselves. It is not fair or godly to demand others change and then resent it when we are challenged to change. It is not fair or godly to demand others live and behave a certain way, and yet our anger is aroused when our behavior is challenged. In judging our neighbors, we should always use the same love and understanding we use to judge ourselves or that we desire them to use when judging us.
To prove our love to God, we must be willing to be patient with our neighbors as they wrestle with their faults. Just as we seek forgiveness and patience as we deal with our faults, we must treat and judge our neighbors with the same forgiveness and patience as they work on their faults. We must be quick to love and not to judge.
Most gracious and loving God, teach me today to think well of and treat my neighbors with patience and understanding without judging their faults and failures. Remind me often of my own faults and limitations, so that I may include myself in the prayers I pray for my neighbors. It is my desire to prove my love and gratefulness for you through my loving treatment of my neighbors. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.