Distances, depthsI confess it, I just cant judge them. I think I go a little mental. Judge-mental, maybe? Theres a shelf in the deepest part of our garage. I know the car is in far enough when the WD-40 crashes onto the hood. Thats when I think, Okay. Perfect.
Of course, perfect to me looks more like hail damage to my husband.
When it comes to judgment, distance from bumper to shelf is one thing. People? Theyre another.
Sometimes were labeled judgmental by others when we call sin, sin. But God has already decided whats sin and whats not. He has already judged. And people do sometimes get upset when we agree with the judgment of God. But isnt that a little like yelling at your opponent in a tennis match when the line judge calls your ball out?
We are judgmental, though, when we think it could never happen to us. Or we forget that it already has. Or we convince ourselves that someone elses sin is worse than ours. Paul spells it out clearly for us in Romans 2:1-3. If you think you can judge others, you are wrong. When you judge them, you are really judging yourself guilty, because you do the same things they do. God judges those who do wrong things, and we know that his judging is right. You judge those who do wrong, but you do wrong yourselves. Do you think you will be able to escape the judgment of God? We may consider it a judgment call. But its not the judgment were called to.
Not only are we being judgmental when were all too happy to point out someone elses failure, but its the kind of judgment that boomerangs right back around to smack us on the hood, WD-40 style. In Matthew 7:1-2, Jesus himself teaches, Do not judge, so that you wont be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Jesus goes on in this passage to show us how ridiculous we are when we consider ourselves someone elses judge. He says in verses 3-5, Why do you look at the speck in your brothers eye but dont notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, and look, theres a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brothers eye.
Its a ridiculous kind of pride that says, Hey, never mind the 2×4 sticking out of my head. Youve got a little shmutz on your face. Let me get that for you. Or like me giving parking lessons. Blind to our own wrongs, but able to see others wrongs clearly? Theres just something wrong with that.
God is the only righteous judge. We do well when we leave the judgment to him. That hypocritical kind of judgment? Thats definitely the kind of judgment we need to shelve.
Yep, put it on the shelf and leave it there. And then hope I dont park near it.
RHONDA RHEA / contributing columnist