“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. Matthew 7:1 CEB
Woah! This sounds like the golden-rule we learned growing up that I don’t hear much about today. If we are going to criticize others for their failures and faults, then we better want the same treatment. What? Who wants that? The answer is none of us, but we are quick to judge others, aren’t we?
The thing I like about this version of the scriptures is how it speaks to our critical spirit and how it has a way of boomeranging. The HCSB version says, “For with the same judgment you use, you will be judged and with the measure you use.” If we are going to use harsh judgement when evaluating others, then we better expect God to use the same standard on us.
When I see sin, do I ask myself the question. Is this sin present in my life? Do I have unrepented sin in my life? I usually do because each day I wake up in this human form and have a thought or something comes out of my mouth that is not godly. I could have even taken it to bed with me the night before and fell asleep before I could get it off my chest. So I have to take a look in the mirror (God’s word) and ask God to show me ways in which I have failed him. I will say something like, “God show me ways in which I have not lived according to your word or walked according to your way”. And guess what, he will!
I can’t help but think the CEB version of Matthew 7:1 was written for women. I use a washcloth every day as most women and the next time I wash my face, I am going to think differently. I am going to reflect on my walk with God and if I am clean enough to offer a washcloth to my neighbor.
How about you? Have you wiped that sneer off your own face so that you are fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor today?