Many of us are familiar with the phrase, "Judge not," which is based on a verse in the Bible (Matthew 7:1). We usually love to use that phrase because we get tired of people telling us how to live our lives. When someone makes a comment about any lifestyle choices, we're quick to throw at them, "Judge not!"
But really, that phrase has NOTHING to do with how we like to use it. No, it has nothing to do with people making unfair judgments, telling us how to live life, or making some other sorts of judgmental assumptions. Actually, that phrase puts the burden on the person making the judgment. If you read further, you'll read the following (in the King James language): "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (verse 2)." Then as you read further, Jesus talks about pointing out a speck or "mote" in your brother's eye when there's a plank in yours. Then he finally ends this subject by saying that if you want to help your brother, first help yourself. "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye" (verse 5).
If you want to help others get better, you FIRST need to help YOURSELF get better. In other words, lead by EXAMPLE, not by words.
So, I don't have a smoking issue. Cigarettes were never a temptation, so it's easy for me to tell someone that cigarettes are bad. But while I never had a smoking problem, does this mean that I don't have any addictions that I'm struggling with? Addiction in any form is addiction and it all works the same way. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." So before I try to help someone get rid of their smoking addiction, perhaps I need to work on ridding my own person addiction.
No, I never had a temper problem. I don't have an issue blowing up at someone. But does this mean that I don't have any issues with the lack of self-control? Losing self-control in any form is still losing self-control. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." So before I talk to you about your hot head, perhaps I need to work on my own self-control issues first.
While I was a fat kid, I didn't suffer with obesity for most of my life. I never had any period where my weight went up and down. I never lost 15 lbs, then gained it back, then lost it, then gained it, etc., etc. So it's easy for me to judge those who can't seem to stay consistent on a weight-loss program. But, does this mean that I don't have my own issues with inconsistency? It doesn't matter what you're being consistent in, because inconsistency in any form is still inconsistency. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." So before I try to motivate you to "stick with it," perhaps I need to find out what I need to stick with.
If you want to save someone, first save yourself -- if for anything, so that you could tell someone else how to do it. You got one person who struggles with pornography and another who struggles with alcohol. Both people have an addiction problem, but if the one struggling with pornography could beat that addiction, then this person could tell the alcoholic how to beat the bottle. When one person fixes himself, he could help fix somebody else. When one person finds the answer to her problems, she could share that answer with another. "First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
One question you have to ask yourself is, "Can my lifestyle in itself change another person?" Can my example convict someone else without ever saying a word? One time, I was walking by the Trader Joe's in Cary, NC, with my two kids. Just walking. My wife wasn't with me. Some random stranger came up to me being so impressed that I, a father, was walking around with my kids. She came up to me and said, "I just prayed for you." Wow! What did I do to deserve that?? It's not very often to see a father walk around with his children, because the fathers are always working...or somewhere being deadbeats. My actions in themselves convicted someone...and I wasn't even trying to impress.
People are always convicting others without even knowing it. Think about the elderly guy going for a jog. Think about the elderly woman who decided not to park in the handicap spot. Think about the young cashier showing respect to the customer. Think about a man and a woman holding hands out in the street. Think about a jogger who picks up a piece of trash on the sidewalk and throws it away. All of these actions are convicting. These people didn't have to say one word. Their lifestyles in themselves did all the talking.
I live in an apartment that's close to a main road. In fact, if you're driving to the east, you would clearly see my back porch. What's on that back porch? A garden. If you drive past my apartment and see that garden, you'd be inspired to have a garden yourself. There is NO need for me to TELL you to have a garden. My example in itself should be enough to convict. And you know what? THOUSANDS of people drive past my apartment daily and see that garden. How many people am I convicting by displaying that garden? In the same way, people are ALWAYS watching you to see what you're all about. Your actions would either convict or repulse. If they convict, no words are needed. If they repulse, there aren't enough words to justify you.
I NEVER nag my kids. NEVER. I rarely ever raise my voice at them. Instead, I become an EXAMPLE to them. My son likes to do pull ups because he sees his daddy doing them. My daughter wants to do art because she saw her daddy's art work. Whatever I want my kids to become had BETTER be something that I'm doing myself. If I want them to learn a language, they better see me learning languages. If I want them to be healthy, they better see me make my protein salads and drink my teas. If I want them to love education, they better see me read books. And if I want them to be concerned about doing house work, they better see me doing house work instead of playing on my phone.
"Judge not" is not for others. It's for YOU. It's for ME. It's for anybody who has any thought about saying something negative to or about another person. Before those condemning words come from your mouth, remember that whatever standard you use for someone else would also be used for you. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." If someone decides to judge me, well, that's actually their problem, because now they have the burden of evaluating their own life to see if they're living up to their own standards. Trust me, it's embarrassing to have someone point out in you the same flaw that you're pointing out in someone else.
Before I judge someone, I need to evaluate my own life. Am I living up to my own standards? Is there anything in my life that would negate my words? When I point a finger, I have three pointing back at me. When I offer a hand, however, I have no fingers pointing at me because I have already fixed my issues and I want to bring you along with me. But, if my issues are still unresolved, then I need to focus on getting myself right before I could help anybody else.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.