Reflecting on today’s Gospel message about the plank and the speck. (USCCB Daily Reading)
Many times it is used to stop people from admonishing their brothers and sisters in Christ. This is not the intended meaning, as most true *judgment* occurs within ourselves, and never makes it to action. When we judge others, we put them in a box and ignore the things they do outside of that box. We invalidate their broader humanity based on a single facet of their character.
How much more dangerous is this when we are guilty of the same thing we are judging them for?
It allows us to say, like the Pharisee in Luke 18, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” When we should be saying, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Then, when we’ve come to terms with the sin ourselves, that is when we will have the most strength to admonish our brothers and sisters. We’ll be able to say, “See, I struggled with this too, but I found healing with God.” We will see them as we see ourselves, and we can show them mercy (the very mercy we received), rather than judgment.