Judging Of Others

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1

Few faults are more common than this judging of others. It would not be so bad if we were disposed to look at people charitably; but we are not. Our eyes are far keener for flaws and blemishes than for marks of beauty. Not many of us are for ever finding new features of loveliness in others; not a few of us can find an indefinite number of faults. If we were ourselves up to the standard whereby we judge others, we should be very saintly people. If we were free from all the faults we so readily see when they appear in our neighbour, we should be well-nigh faultless.

This word of our Lord not only instructs us not to be critical of others and censorious, but it presents the strongest kind of motive against such judging. It makes the appeal to our own interest. Others will mete to us just what we mete to them. None of us like other people to be critical and censorious toward us. We wince under unjust judgments. We resent unkind fault-finding. We demand that people shall judge us fairly. We claim forbearance and charity in our derelictions in duty and for blemishes in our character. Can we expect other people to be any more lenient towards us than we are toward them?

If we would receive kindly judgment from others, we must give the same to them. If we criticise another to-day in a harsh manner, we need not be surprised if we hear some one’s harsh criticism of us to-morrow. But if, on the other hand, we speak kindly, appreciative, and charitable words of some one to-day, very likely we shall hear to-morrow some pleasant word that another has said of us. So we make very largely the music or the discord for our own hearts. We get back what we give. We gather the harvest of our own sowing. Then, even in the last judgment, we shall receive from the Judge what we have shown to others.