One of the Bible verses that I am most convicted by is Matthew 7: 1-5:
Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.
For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.
Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?
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?
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.
It is so easy to see the faults in others. It is so easy to jump to conclusions and pass judgment. The fact that Jesus had to address it must mean that it is part of human nature, but it is an ugly part that I am not proud of.
I mostly find myself judging strangers. Since I don’t know any part of their story, it is easier for me to make up my own narrative and convict them of being selfish, rude, stingy, etc.
I often find myself judging strangers when I’m driving in traffic. (Can I blame the fact that I commute to the city with the worst traffic in the nation?) The person in that car must be so self-important to cut me off. The person in that truck must be so rude not to let me merge. Never mind that I may change lanes too quickly (inadvertently cutting someone off) or resent a car trying to get in front of me (and purposefully make it hard for them to merge). When I’m behind the wheel, I often am the pot calling the kettle black.
This week as I was driving to work I noticed a fancy BMW sports car with a license plate that referenced Jesus Christ.
I can’t remember the exact letters, but they included JSCHRST, and the Ichthys bumper sticker reinforced the Christian connotation.
I instantly passed judgment.
How hypocritical to proclaim your Christianity while driving a fancy sports car!
I bet Jesus could think of better ways for him to spend his money!
How Christian could he (?) be if he spends so much money on something so ostentatious?
And then I caught myself.
I thought about the car that I drive.
Yes, that’s a BMW (X3)
I thought about my own Christian faith and how important it is to me.
I thought about my weekend plans, which include serving dinner at a hypothermia shelter.
I thought about how mad I would be if anyone ever questioned my Christianity based on the car I drive, the clothes I wear, the fraction of my time that I spend helping others, or the portion of my income that I donate to charity.
I realized that I was a black-BMW-driving-pot calling a silver-BMW-kettle black.
Do you catch yourself judging others?
Do you have a personalized license plate?