Struggle With Judging Others?
Gospel Reflection for June 26, 2023
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” (Mt. 7:1-5 NABRE)
We might respond to today’s Gospel by thinking somewhere along the lines of, “pfft, I don’t really judge anyone, I just recognize when what someone’s doing is wrong. And it’s important to recognize when other’s actions are wrong so that I don’t commit those sins myself.”
There is definitely some truth in this. We need to know the difference between right and wrong, so that when others do something, we know whether or not we should, or can, do those things ourselves.
For example, we can be easily influenced by the people in our lives, and it is often tempting to follow the crowd. If our friends or coworkers start watching a new TV show, and speak highly of it, we might want to watch that show too. Yet, we need always use discernment.
If someone we know takes the Lord’s Name in vain, is involved in premarital sex, or doesn’t go to Mass, we must recognize that those actions oppose the Will of God and that we should not do the same.
However, though we may recognize when something is wrong, before we jump to judging others, we must remember that we too are sinners!
We might be tempted to look at others and think, “well, at least I don’t do that,” but all sin is sin! And whenever we feel tempted to judge another person for their actions, we must look at ourselves and consider our own sins. Every time we catch ourselves starring at the splinter in another’s eye, we should redirect our attention and energy to rooting out the beam from our own.
Yes, though we must recognize right from wrong so that we know how to act ourselves, when we are tempted to judge others, we must remember that we are no better. Rather than judging others, love them and recognize that we are all the same, we are all sinners in need of God’s grace and mercy. And when you measure out love and mercy to others, the same will be measured out to you.