Updated: Jul 6
Judging Ourselves. Scripture does not teach us not to judge (discern, choose between what is right and wrong), but Scripture does condemn the judgment we bring upon others while ignoring our own sin. We are not to have two standards: one for others and one for ourselves. At the very least, we are to use the same criteria for ourselves that we use for others.
We must realize that we are not very reliable judges of ourselves. We tend to manipulate the facts to demonstrate our innocence and to magnify the guilt of the other party. At our very worst, we are less guilty than they are. We see the offenses of others in 4K while seeing our minimal offenses through "rose-colored glasses," and we actually have the keen ability to justify our offenses as really being necessary and not an offense at all. If we do apologize, it is often followed by a justification. "I am sorry, but if I did not get angry then..." Jesus calls us to judge ourselves even more rigorously than we judge others. He calls us to take the log out of our own eye before removing the small splinter from the eye of another. What would happen if we reserved our harshest judgment for ourselves? What if we submitted to being judged before acting as the judge of another? Anger is often rooted in the condemnation of another, but humility in dealing with our own stuff first without minimizing our stuff allows us to be gentle as we deal with another. When we find ourselves responding with anger to the faults of others, let us pause and evaluate ourselves and open ourselves to the judgment of another so we can see our own need for confession, repentance, and grace. We will then be liberated from our anger to show the very grace that we received from God for our own sinful behavior. Note: this judgment of self typically is not able to be done in isolation, but requires community (the church). We are typically blind to our anger and we are typically blind to our blindness about our anger...more on this another day.