I Know I Shouldn’t Be Judgmental, But I’m So Good at It
Judge not, that you be not judged . . . Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:1,3
I’m judgmental. The problem is, I’m good at it. It’s just so easy to see other people’s mistakes. I may be blind to my own mess, but I’ve got a keen eye for the destructive behavior of my neighbor. It’s not that I want to help those around me. I just prefer to sit back, shaking my head, wondering how people can be so stupid.
Here’s perhaps the most hypocritical part of my judgmentalism: I use myself as the gold standard. Anyone who makes more money than me is greedy. Anyone who is more overweight than me is a glutton. I may have been enslaved to drugs once, but now that I’m sober, I find myself looking down on those still struggling. I’ve found recovery. Why can’t you? In looking down on others, I elevate myself.
It’s not that I don’t still have my struggles. I do. It’s just different when I fail. I have my reasons and justifications. My ability to justify my ongoing flaws is perhaps only eclipsed by the disgusting pride that blinds me to my hypocrisy.
It is of course, hideous, repulsive pride that breeds judgmentalism. Christians are particularly prone to this flaw which Jesus pointed out in today’s passage. We may have been forgiven and should be filled with grace for others, but so often, we now find ourselves looking down on those who still struggle or those who struggle differently than we do. How can you be so dumb? What’s wrong with you?
In doing so, Christ says we point out the speck in our brother’s eye, while remaining completely blind the log in our own. Our spiritual life may be suffocating under the weight of our own pride, but that doesn’t stop us from looking down on the neighbor drowning in his struggle.
As we have been shown so much grace, we must show grace to others. We all still struggle in some way and if we can’t see that, we’ve surely surrendered to blinding pride. If we truly follow Christ, we must daily choose honesty and humility about our own ongoing need for God’s grace.