Lay off pious ones just a little bit

What about judging others? Jesus spoke to that in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:3-4:

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”

Jesus taught about judging others in this parable. So the people could understand, He painted a word picture to His audience on the side of the mountain that day.

Judy Brandon Columnist

Judy Brandon
Columnist

Jesus was not necessarily talking about judging people for what they wear, but He was speaking about looking at others, condemning them and passing judgment on their behavior when the person judging is not in a position or condition to pass judgment.

Jesus said the one who might be condemning others’ behavior is the same one that has undesirable behaviors in their own life.

Obviously there are some acts we must condemn or judge. I do not believe that Jesus was not referring to acts such as murder, rape, robbery, burglary and embezzlement. The Ten Commandants are not conditional.

Yet I think we could take a look at religious people who perceive themselves spiritually superb and are very proud of the pious lives that they lead.

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Pious. Their conversation goes like this:
“We are worn out…doing God’s work…what do you do in your spare time?”

“We don’t know who will carry the ball when we are gone.”

“You would get the blessings we get if you would jump in and work as hard as we work in the church.”

“We carry the load of ministering to different groups in our church…what are you doing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday?”

They are judging on work in the church, alone.

But just a few questions come to my mind about Mr. and Mrs. Pious.

How do your treat your families at home…are you available for your children, even your grown children?

Do you take care of your own sick mothers, or grandmothers or aunts?

Do the people in the community in your daily life see a couple who is committed to God: the checker at the grocery store, the customer from your business, the mechanic who works on your car, the waitress who brings your lunch special, the receptionist at the optometrist, the child who mistakenly rides his bike over the edge of your grass?

Doing is not a bad thing but it has the potential to be a determent. The maintenance of the heart issues and our relationship with Jesus should take precedence over activity, even if that activity is religious. In fact, the mission field is not within the church walls but outside the church walls!

Lewis Smedes, renowned theologian who passed away over 10 years ago, wrote in Christian Today an article titled, “Are We To Judge?

He wrote: “Nobody with a beam in his eye can see things clearly. He is dangerously low on discernment. And, since we all have this distorted perspective, we need either to be very humble or else leave judging to God alone. We have a moral responsibility to judge the moral behavior of others — but only if we are humbly aware that we will sometimes be dead wrong and never totally right. We must remember that our ability to judge is limited and especially that we are sinful people who will ourselves, one day, come under judgment.” (Christianity Today, October 1, 2001).

I have discovered two important principles. First, if I concentrate on the sins of Judy Brandon, the sins or perceived sins of others pale.

Second, God is the only One that can judge with an eternal perceptive.

I suppose in light of those two principles, I shouldn’t be so hard on Mr. and Mrs. Pious.

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at:
cbrandon@plateautel.net