Think Twice, Speak Once

Matthew 7:1-5 1DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.  2For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.  3Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?  4Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?  5You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.
We see here that we are not to judge, criticize or condemn others. If we do, we ourselves will be judged as harshly as we have dished it out. Ouch! That should make us stop before opening our mouths. My father is in the woodworking business and one of his favorite quotes is “Measure twice, cut once”. If you need a piece of wood that is four feet long and you measure it hastily and accidently cut it 3 feet long, you can’t undo it. You will have to start all over which can cost you time and money.  We can apply that same adage to being judgmental. “Think twice, Speak once”. Once the words have gone out of our mouths, we can’t put them back, and the costs to us are greater than the cost of a piece of wood.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:5 3But [as for me personally] it matters very little to me that I should be put on trial by you [on this point], and that you or any other human tribunal should investigate and question and cross-question me. I do not even put myself on trial and judge myself. 4I am not conscious of anything against myself, and I feel blameless; but I am not vindicated and acquitted before God on that account. It is the Lord [Himself] Who examines and judges me.  5So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes [again], for He will both bring to light the secret things that are [now hidden] in darkness and disclose and expose the [secret] aims (motives and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will receive his [due] commendation from God. If we are quick to judge the hearts and motives of others, the secret things in our hearts will be exposed. There is no way that we can truly know what is in the heart of another. 1 Corinthians 2:11 even says 11For what person perceives (knows and understands) what passes through a man’s thoughts except the man’s own spirit within him? Just so no one discerns (comes to know and comprehend) the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Even if we think we know why they said this, or why they did that, we have to be careful of verbalizing what we think. The next time we are tempted to open our mouths to judge someone else we can remember that only God truly knows our hearts, and so therefore we are not qualified to pass judgment. Then we can be thankful that we spared ourselves from the same kind of judgment we were about to give.

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