DO NOT JUDGE
(Scripture Reflection Matthew 7:1)
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged."
Jesus’ teaching is so unreasonable! In today’s Gospel he indicts each one of us who would otherwise have a claim to holiness. But what is wrong with a little ‘reasoned’ judging?
In his essay “Sweets”, Robert Lynd makes an interesting observation. He says, just as children like sweets, adults too like alcoholic drinks – but with a subtle difference. To a child, every sweet is enjoyable; but to an adult, half the joy comes from comparing and contrasting drinks. Have we lost out on something while growing to adulthood? Yes – our innocence and humility.
When, as children, we willingly and gratefully accepted God’s grace, we were close to him, heard his voice clearly in our hearts, and generally tended to obey. But, as we grew, we began to experience feelings which we used to make judgements. We now doubt his voice – our conscience – which we conveniently smother, and repose more faith in our intelligence. And, having lost our innocence, we soon tend to lose our way as well.
Judging our fellow creatures should, logically, be the prerogative of their Creator. When we assume for ourselves that function, we are not merely attempting to play God and usurp his role, but, worse, are guilty of pride – the ultimate sin. Seen in this light, Jesus’ strict injunction against judging (Focus) is hardly harsh. It makes eminent sense.
Fruit: I will make a conscious effort to avoid judging others, leaving that completely to God.