S.O.A.P. Devotion 2018-11-19
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 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.”
Matthew 7:1-5 ESV
This command refers to rash, malicious, and unjust judgment in the sense of condemning others. It does not condemn our forming an opinion of the conduct of others, for it is impossible not to form an opinion of conduct that we know to be sinful. But what he refers to is a habit of expressing such an opinion openly, harshly and unnecessarily. It refers to the habits of the scribes and Pharisees of condemning others without working on their own problems. The illustration admonishes the hearers of how wrong it is to go after someone’s minor issues when you have major issues yourself. You need to focus on getting yourself right before you try to help your brother with his minor problems. Then you will be able to see clearly to help.
Matthew 7:1 is by far the most frequently misapplied verse in the entire Bible. It is abused by both Christians and non-Christians alike. It is often used as a way of deflecting for one’s own sin so they can justify living as they please without regard to spiritual standards. There are too many other scriptures that tell us to help our brothers out of sin for that to be an appropriate use of this passage. The illustration goes on to tell us to help our brothers with a speck in his eye, but only after we make sure we get ourselves right first. You cannot help others when you yourself have major issues preventing you from seeing clearly. Work on yourself, not just for your own good, but so that you are a benefit to the rest of the brotherhood.
Father, help me to see what needs to change in me so that I can be the man I need to be. Let me focus on getting right with you so that if others need help, I will be able to be there for them.
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