Matthew 7:1-5(CEB)

1 “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. 2 You’ll receive the same judgment you give. Whatever you deal out will be dealt out to you. 3 Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when there’s a log in your eye? 5 You deceive yourself! First take the log out of your eye, and then you’ll see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye.

Luke 6:37 (CEB)

37Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

DEVOTION – Sandra Ramirez (Ohio)

I work with a father-and-son maintenance team.  The father is jovial and easygoing, always ready to carry out his maintenance duties with a smile.  His son is the sullen, quiet, despondent type, and I admit that I have formed an unfavorable opinion of him.  One day I was in the break room for lunch at the same time as his father.  I asked how his son was doing.  He said, “Well, he’s doing better.”  I asked, “What do you mean by ‘better’?”  He told me his son had lost his young wife to cancer about a year ago.  They had been married only one year, and his son was having a hard time adjusting.

The father’s words made me realize how quickly and easily we can judge other people without knowing anything about them.  We sometimes even pass these opinions on without an iota of information about what these people might be going through.

Everyone has a story, whether we know that story or not.  Matthew 7:3 reminds me as a follower of Christ to look beyond outward appearances in my relationships with my family, my friends, and my acquaintances and to share God’s love with everyone.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:God calls us to love, not judge.

PRAYER: God of love, open our eyes to see beyond outward appearances to the pains and struggles of our brothers and sisters.  Amen.