March 25, 2019
By Steve King
How do we hold moral convictions without becoming judgmental?
How do we help others overcome their weaknesses while we struggle with our own?
How do we know when it is right to share the truth with someone and when to withhold sharing?
The answers to those three questions are addressed by Jesus in Matthew 7:1-6, which we studied last Sunday. Let’s review some of the insights we gained and put them into practice.
Jesus commands us not to judge others (Matt 7:1-2). We are not to think and act as the final arbitrator of justice for others because that role belongs only to God (1 Corinthians 4:1-5). Instead, we are to be discerning, hold moral convictions, speak the truth in love, and work through proper channels for justice (Hebrews 5:14; Matt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:1-13).
Jesus gives a vivid illustration to remind us to repent before we seek to restore others: get the log out of your own eye before you seek to get a splinter out of your brother’s eye (Matt 7:3-5). We are not to revile people (“re”= again and “vile”= replay their sin) but to reprove them (“re”= again and “prove”= examine the facts). We are to always first examine our own lives and repent before we seek to help others with their sins (Galatians 6:1-5; Ephesians 4:32-5:2).
Finally, Jesus urges us to discern before we share truth—don’t be a gullible truth teller: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matt 7:6). Proverbs describes over 30 different kinds of people (fool, sluggard, scoffer, naïve, etc.); wise people discern how to share truth with each. Scripture interprets Scripture and other passages in the Bible reinforce this important principle (Jude 22-23; Titus 3:9-11; Luke 10:10-12; 22:8-11; Acts 13:46, 51; 2 Timothy 2:24-26).
Consider the relationships you are in and by the power of the Holy Spirit apply Jesus’ wise insights to them. These are learned skills and part of our calling as salt and light through our union with Jesus. Let’s be discerning and repentant servants of God not gullible and “log-eyed” judges!