经文: 马太福音7:1-5 “你们不要论断人，免得你们被论断。 因为你们怎样论断人，也必怎样被论断；你们用什么量器量给人，也必用什么量器量给你们。 为什么看见你弟兄眼中有刺，却不想自己眼中有梁木呢？ 你自己眼中有梁木，怎能对你弟兄说：‘容我去掉你眼中的刺’呢？你这假冒为善的人！先去掉自己眼中的梁木，然后才能看得清楚，去掉你弟兄眼中的刺。
Matthew Listen: Matthew 7: 1-5: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “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? 4 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? 5 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.
Jesus is not forbidding every kind of judging. When in love we point out our brother’s sin and call him to repentance, we are judging his actions. We do that, not to condemn him, but to save him. Most people would rather talk behind his back and judge him without ever speaking to him. That’s the kind of judging that Jesus is warning us about.
When you stop to think about it, every form of criticism is a form of judgment, isn’t it? Why do we love to criticize others, both to their faces and behind their back? Because knocking someone down a notch makes us feel better than ourselves. Jesus gives us a vivid illustration of how wrong this is. First take the plank out of your own eye before you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eyes!
The eighth commandment is easy to break and hard to keep. We are influenced by the senseless chatter on television that wants to find fault with everyone and everything. Conversations over coffee would be hard to carry on if we just talked about good things and good ideas! Jesus’ words to us today make us realize that sins against the eighth commandment should not be ignored.
One of the stories in the Bible I love is from John 12, where Jesus comes to Mary’s defense when the disciples criticize her for anointing him with expensive perfume. Jesus kept the eighth commandment by speaking well of her. He did that not only for himself, but for you and me as well.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for letting my tongue be guilty of gossip and criticizing others, when there is so much fault to be found in myself. Teach me to see the good in others, and to come to their defense when their reputation is being ripped on. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
经文: 马太福音 7:6 不要把圣物给狗，也不要把你们的珍珠丢在猪前，恐怕它践踏了珍珠，转过来咬你们。
MatthewListen: Matthew 7: 6: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
I confess that I was tempted to pass this verse by, but that wouldn’t be fair, would it? First, it is interesting that this verse follows the verses that tell us that we should not judge others.
And here, it would seem, Jesus is telling us that at times we should judge others. What is Jesus telling us to do in this verse? I believe that Jesus words here carry the same message that he gave to his disciples when he was giving them instructions for their missionary journey. 14 “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” It’s not that you won’t give people a chance to hear the gospel. It’s that sometimes people won’t give you a chance to share the gospel with them. That takes a discerning heart.
In my ministry, I’ve used this “rule of thumb” to guide me as to when to stop pursuing someone to bring them into the kingdom. I believe in patience and persistence when it comes to winning souls for the kingdom. But when I sense that I am no longer welcome, I will ask them this question. “Is it O.K. if I come back and talk to you about this some more?” If they say, “No,” I have my answer.
Then I will leave and pray that God will create another opportunity to reach them in some other way. I do not stop loving them in every way a Christian should love his neighbor. I will be the best friend that person ever had if he gives me the chance to do so. But I will not feel guilty that he has made it impossible for me to share the gospel with him at this time.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me a patient and a persistent heart when it comes to reaching out to the lost with the gospel. Whenever I have the opportunity to share the good news with someone, give me the courage to do so. At the same time, give me a discerning heart to know when that person not only doesn’t welcome the message, but even despises it. I ask this in your name. Amen.