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Devotions With Jesus – June 19 From Pastor Mike

Matthew 7:1-6

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

            Our culture has been mired in the muck of hypocrisy and moralistic judgmentalism for years, and perhaps never more so than the past few months. Each side takes their side of each issue and clings to their moral high ground for dear life while casting stones and calling for retribution against anyone who dares contradict their sacred opinions. Has a culture ever been this divided before? Have people ever been so hypocritically judgmental? Well, judging from Jesus’ words, yes, people have struggled with these same failings for at least the last 2,000 years. Passing judgment on others is nothing new. Criticizing someone else for doing the very thing you are doing has been around for a long time. Jesus saw it in the First Century and knew we would deal with it too.

            Truth is, hypocrisy is not just a cultural problem or a byproduct of our cynical political system. Each one of us, in our private thoughts and public words, passes judgment and calls out the sins of our neighbors while committing similar sins ourselves. You remember what Jesus said when confronted about the woman caught in adultery: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7). None of us is in a position to throw stones.

            Instead, we need to repent of our own sins and hypocritical behavior. We need to put our hearts right, and then we will be in a better position to encourage others to repent as well. And if we feel the need to gently, humbly call a friend to repentance, we need to speak truth in love, seeking good for our friend, not heaping shame on them. With all the problems and divisions in our world today, it’s tough to follow Jesus’ words. It’s hard to be a peacemaker and an encourager of the good. But that’s certainly what our world needs, isn’t it?

Holy Father, You are perfect and pure. Forgive me for all my sins, including the hypocritical ways I treat others. Show me how to love people the way You do and how to live in ways that honor the name of Jesus, through whom I pray. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian

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