Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1 KJV)
I’ve written about this subject before – a full blog back in September, about Beams and Motes. I need to revisit it because of a bit of Sunday night’s sermon. The verses following Matthew 7:1 also point me to another verse I use often:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15 KJV)
When Christians point out error, it not only needs to be done with the correct biblical commandment, done in love but it must be done after we Christians exam our own hearts for error – any error – and exam our purpose in pointing out another’s error.
Behind the internet’s false cloak of anonymity, errors are most often pointed out in language much less than courteous, a far cry from any consideration of lovingkindness. We’re more like the two birds above, arguing instead of debating or even having an interesting discussion.
What is our purpose in pointing out another’s error? For them to change? I don’t believe it should be. I believe it should be to show them God’s love in spite of all we do wrong. How is that done when pinpointing one person’s sin?
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6 KJV)
Old or New Testament, the message is the same:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23 KJV)
That’s me as well as the person to whom I’m witnessing. We both stand in need of God’s grace:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)
It is not my place to remind the unsaved of sinfulness. It is my place to give an answer about the hope I have in God’s saving grace.
Not until I’m discussing error with a Christian should I be reminding them of God’s commandments and work with them to remove a mote – after checking for beams in me:
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Matthew 7:3-5 KJV)
But – is it necessary that I be the one to help with that mote? Is God directing me to be of help? Have I gone to Him in prayer about the mote? Can I cite chapter and verse as to why the mote is apparent? Most of all, do I consider it an act of love – or an act of correction?
I must know my heart is right, my purpose is within God’s will and be in prayer myself before considering a mote in a brother’s eye. I must be even more prepared to speak to another about salvation – mine or theirs. Now, just to remember that!