It Takes One to Know One
"Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors." Romans 2:1, The Message
I remember this one guy in college who really used to bug me! Every time he opened his mouth, I got irritated. There was just something about him that grated my nerves.
One day the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart as plain as day: "The reason he bugs you so much is because you are just like him." I was mortified! It was true. The very things that irritated me about this guy were just a mirror exposing the yucky parts of my own personality.
This was the first time the passage in Romans 2:1 hit me. I started to take note. Anytime I was tempted to judge or criticize others, I had to look in the mirror and ask myself, "OK…what is it in my life that is irritating me so much in theirs?" It's easy to judge other people—their motives and behaviors—I was quite familiar with their faults because they were my faults, too. Yup, it takes one to know one! Let's just say eventually I got a clue and became a lot less judgmental. I discovered a verse that made my life a lot easier: "Love covers a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8, NLT)
Ever been judgmental? Here are two reasons we should quit.
The Boomerang Effect: It's true; the way we judge others is the way we'll be judged. We need to be rich in mercy toward others—so that we receive mercy! Let's do ourselves a favor—don't notice the speck in someone else's eye and miss the 2 x 4 in our own! The Message Bible makes it plain: "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." (Message 7:1-5, The Message)
The 'Who Are You?' Question: We aren't qualified to judge others—after all, who do we think we are? Ever been on the brunt end of someone's judgmental comments? We have. In the early years of our ministry, people who didn't have the foggiest idea of what we had been or were going through felt free to judge us. We discovered a lot of… "Well, if I was in their shoes, this is what I'd do…" comments were being said about us. It was difficult. We learned a fresh lesson on the importance of not judging another man's servant! "Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand." (Romans 14:3-4, NIV)
Today, if you are tempted to judge someone—show them mercy and love instead.
Say It: “Father, I ask You to forgive me for being judgmental toward others. I can see that 'it takes one to know one' and the very things I criticize in others are a reflection of my own faults. Help me to extend mercy and love to cover others' shortcomings. You are their Master and You are able to make them stand. Today, I ask You to bless ___________ (insert the name of someone you have judged). In Jesus' Name. Amen."
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