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Use discernment, but don't "judge"

November 2, 2022

Daily Scripture

Matthew 7:1-6

1 “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. 2 You’ll receive the same judgment you give. Whatever you deal out will be dealt out to you. 3 Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when there’s a log in your eye? 5 You deceive yourself! First take the log out of your eye, and then you’ll see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye.” 6 Don’t give holy things to dogs, and don’t throw your pearls in front of pigs. They will stomp on the pearls, then turn around and attack you.


Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus knew we humans are quick to judge others. He also knew we tend to overlook or excuse similar (or even worse) things in ourselves or people we support. That pattern is destructive and hurtful in workplaces or families. When taken into the realm of politics, it often seems to go on steroids. Has there ever been a time when a political figure you disagree with came under fire, and you sadly realized, “The side I favor has done similar (or even worse) things”?

  • “Don’t judge” did not mean “Don’t have opinions,” much less “don’t vote.” It did mean “Don’t hold those who reach different conclusions in contempt.” In 2020, the two main Utah candidates for governor filmed a TV ad together, modeling respect and unity regardless of the outcome. (Click here to see that historic—and much too rare—ad.) If candidates can do that, how can their backers (including you) follow suit, and love even your neighbor who votes differently?
  • Of course, Jesus’ words applied not just to politics but to all relationships. Think about all the family or friend relationships you have. Is it possible for two people to care deeply about each other’s well-being, and yet come to different conclusions about the best way to address issues that arise? Can they work together toward solutions without doubting each other’s honesty or motives?

Lord Jesus, as our nation prepares to vote, please rid my spirit of contempt and judgment. Remind me that people, in my nation or my family circle, who disagree with me aren’t necessarily dishonest, and are always worthy of love. Amen.

GPS Insights

Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek serves as the Director of Discipleship at Resurrection Downtown. She loves to travel and has been to 49 states, 11 countries and lived in Vancouver, Canada for grad school! When not gallivanting all over the world, she lives in Liberty with her husband, Aaron, and two sons, Owen and Porter.

I love our church. I have especially loved our current BE Campaign. It has been so neat to drive around Kansas City and spot the “BE Kind. Just. Humble.” signs all over the city. I now have a yard sign, t-shirt, sticker, wristbands, hat and a tote bag! Whew!

All of this swag continually shows others that I am someone who wants to be kind, just and humble. Except–what about the times when I don’t exactly do that? You see, when I’m wearing my BE shirt, that kind of means I need to BE kind, just and humble. Eeks! I’m not sure I can say I’m always that kind of person. Yet how often can I see others and point out their lack of kindness and justice and humility.

When I looked over our Scripture for today, I was easily convicted as I read, “Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye?” (Matt 7:3). I can sometimes be quick to judge, but it’s been interesting to see my own judgment lessen as I’ve been sporting all of my BE Campaign swag.

If a t-shirt helps me (or you) to exude a little more kindness and justice and humility, then by all means let’s wear the t-shirt! And maybe over time our hearts will shift, and we will become more like our swag whether we’re wearing it or not.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.