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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Sheep in Wolf Clothing

Judging Others
Matthew 7:1-6 (NIV)

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“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.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.


I have always been perplexed by the above passage from Matthew. Jesus seems to be contradicting himself. One minute he is telling us not to judge others and the next he is denouncing other people as dogs and swine who upon hearing the cherished tenets (pearls) of our faith will likely trash them and then turn upon us and shred us to pieces. How can we avoid concluding that at least on some occasions we are encouraged to quickly and urgently judge others and with dispatch engage in camouflage if not outright deceit?

The other day on revisiting this passage I saw it in a whole new light. Let's say I found myself at Trump Tower in pursuit of a business deal to be negotiated with Donald Trump.  He comes into the room full of disarming charm.  Having never met me before, he precedes to engage in character discovery--sizing me up.  I am wondering whether I should share my deepest yearnings for Christian love, brotherhood, and understanding--a world veritably bathing in the lyrics of Kumbaya...... [Quick now, what would be your best advice for me?]


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