Thursday, December 9, 2021
A Simple Guide for Behavior
7 1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
6 “Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.
-Matthew 7:1-6 The Message
7 Verse 1: “Do not judge, so that you will not be judged.
Verse 2: For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
Verses 1-2 study: These two scriptures are simple. Jesus tells us to examine our own behavior, motives, and conduct, do not judge others. Understand that the traits in others are the reason why we are bothered is within our own characteristics and behavior. What we want to change in ourselves is what we want to change in others but fail to do it first. Do you find it easy to find faults in others, in return excusing your own faults in others? Before you try to criticize someone, check with yourself to see if you deserve your own criticism. Judge yourself, then forgive and help your neighbor.
Verse 3: Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye but does not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Verse 4: Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, the log is in your own eye?
Verse 5: You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye!
Verses 1-5 studies: Jesus’ statement, “do not judge,” is against the kind of hypocritical, judgmental attitude that will tear others down to build yourself up. It is not a blanket statement against all critical thinking but a call to be discerning than negative. Jesus said to expose false teachers (7:15-23), and Paul said to exercise church discipline (1 Corinthians 5:1-2) and trust God to be the final judge (1 Corinthians 4:3-5).
Verse 6: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Verse 6 study: According to God’s law, swine, which is pigs, are unclean animals (Deuteronomy 14:8). Anyone who touches an unclean animal is “ceremonially uncleaned” and can’t go to the temple to worship until the uncleanness is removed. Jesus said we shouldn’t entrust holy teachings to unholy or unclean people. It is futile to teach holy concepts to people who don’t want to listen and will only tear apart what we say. We shouldn’t stop giving God’s Word to unbelievers, but we should be wise and discerning in what we teach to whom so we aren’t wasting time.
Father, there are many unholy people out here in the world today. I pray that we have the wisdom to distinguish between those who don’t want to be taught holy concepts and those who do. Let us tell the difference in time management in our teaching. In Jesus’ name. Amen.