Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sermon on the Mount 17: Boomerang

Scripture: Matthew 7:1-5

Focus: Judge

Reflection: Jesus gives some sage advice here. I get the feel he is not so much making commands as he is describing how people naturally behave with each other. Commands are not always practical. No, Jesus has seen how it works and is helping people along here in people trying to have life together. His observations are practical.

Jesus understood the flow of relationships. What is the natural reaction to being judged? It is to get defensive. One of the most common defensive acts is to give back a dose of what was dished out. “You judge me? Well, let me find your imperfections and announce them.”

But it goes the other way as well. When someone humbles themselves and admits their own issues and problems, they earn a credible spot with others. If someone is willing to risk and admit their own shortcomings, then the meaning of any judgment that person could ring true. It doesn’t feel like an attack when the person has taken an inventory of their own life first.

Failure to reflect on one’s own life generally results in nobody caring what you have to say. “If you can’t even reflect on your own life then how could you reflect on mine?”

Judgment is a boomerang; it comes back just like it was tossed. It is like an infection; it spreads and grows. But so does humility, self-reflection, and generosity toward one another.

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