Read Matthew 7:1-12 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 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? 5 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. 6 Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. 7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” As Christians we might misapply this verse as a way to get out of our Christian responsibility for one another or in order to escape the possibility of having our own actions judged by others. We are in fact called and commanded by God lovingly to point out and address the sins of one another. We do this in order to lead one another away from sin, bring one another to repentance, and call one another to the lives that God would have us live. The problem is we often do not “judge” when it would be helpful and appropriate but still manage to ignore these words in the very situations that Christ was speaking to (tearing into the reputation of others, covering up our own sin, winning an argument, or participating in gossip). It is often a response not of compassion and concern but rather hurt or anger. What relationship could be healed and mended by pulling the log out of your own eye? Where could you use the Holy Spirit’s strength to be humbled and apologize for your own sins, even in a situation where you feel hurt or wronged? God desires reconciliation amongst His people. By the same grace and mercy that reconciled us to the Father, through His death on the cross, Jesus empowers us to humbly and patiently work to be reconciled to others. Prayer Father, forgive me of my sin. Help me to humbly seek forgiveness from others whom I have hurt or wronged. Help me to freely forgive others in order that we may be reconciled. Amen.