“When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7 NIV)
The person you judge first is yourself. Today’s verse is from one of my favorite stories in the Bible. A woman, caught in adultery is dragged naked to where Jesus is teaching. Jesus was in the temple courts, surrounded by people. The Pharisees (religious leaders who thought highly of themselves), wanted her stoned for her sin. These self-righteous men think they have Jesus cornered. But they were wrong. Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, bent and wrote in the dirt. Then He rose and said these words:
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7b NIV)
Once again, Jesus bent and wrote in the dirt. One by one, the crowd dispersed. Finally, Jesus was left alone with the woman. Lovingly, His eyes filled with warmth, He said to her:
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:10-11 NIV)
The person you judge first is yourself.
Pointing the finger at another person’s faults is easy. Pointing a finger at our own faults is hard. One way I examine my actions is through Scripture. I align my thoughts with God’s word, and He quickly reminds me, I’m not without sin. Another way I examine my actions is through the trusted relationships I have in my life. My husband and my closest friends are all people who speak truth in love to me. These people help me take the plank out of my own eye:
“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.” (Matthew 7:3-5 NIV)
I’m ashamed at how quickly I judge. The deeper I draw into my relationship with God, the more aware of this ugly fact I am. We all judge too quickly. We make snap decisions with not enough information. But if we focus on the plank in our own eye first, we’ll judge less. We will recognize our own sin before we judge others. We’ll stop judging others, we’ll start judging ourselves.
Question of the Day:
What plank is in your eye?
Further Reading: 1 Samuel 15:1-16:23 NIV, John 8:1-20 NIV, Psalm 110:1-7 NIV, Proverbs 15:8-10 NIV