I often find myself silently criticizing others throughout my day without really planning on it. You know how it is, it just happens!
Different faces over the years come to mind and one in particular sticks out or should I say is still “sticking it to me” because of the subtle conviction that reminds me that I am no different.
The twinge of guilt when I point my finger at someone is a signal meant to redirect my focus and help me face my own unresolved fears and insecurities. It tells me that my weaknesses are being reflected back to me through that person.
Really, I should be grateful!
I know that I shouldn’t judge others because Jesus commands it along with a hefty warning that when we judge others, God will also judge us.
Judge not, lest you be judged (Matthew 7:1)
But, I am learning to pay attention to my criticisms and judgements of others for a different reason.
“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?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5)
This passage says that when we judge we are no different, that we have exactly the same faults. But we are often blinded about our faults because they act like planks in our eye, blocking the light, and limiting our ability to see inward.
Though not writing from a Christian perspective, relationship experts Katie and Gay Hendricks summarize Jesus’s teachings perfectly:
“Do you notice that you often secretly judge others?. . Is this a clue about something way deeper or fundamental about you. . . We are accusing others of the very things we disown or reject about ourselves.”
We must treat our judgements as symptoms of deeper unresolved issues inside us.
We need to bring the flashlight closer and discover what is causing us to be so harsh and critical of others.
Often it means we need to forgive someone.