Jul 10, 2018
Gilbert Keith (GK) Chesterton won an essay contest that asked “What is wrong with the Church?” His insightful two word answer “I am”. Chesterton, convert and brilliant defender of the faith, observed that we tend to see others as being wrong. We have this critical fault finding attitude or disposition where we make rash judgments and wind-up judging others harshly for the same sins we have. We are blinded by our own sin.
This is what Jesus is preaching about in Matthew 7:1-5, where he says “Do not judge lest you be judged. First remove the beam from your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Basically, Jesus is saying that we can’t judge or predetermine the salvation of another’s soul. Christ himself warns us that not even he can do that. In John 3, he tells us he came into the world not to condemn it but to save it. He does not condemn the woman caught in adultery but tells her to go and sin no more.
He is talking about using the golden rule in our daily dealings with the people in our lives. Making our own private assessment of the morality of others isn’t forbidden but judging them is. His advice in Matthew 15 is a great guide to help us in appraising our relationships, “by their fruits you will know them.” Is a relationship with this person good or bad for my soul?
Chesterton advises not to be be what’s wrong with the Church. We all need to work on removing that beam, our own sinfulness, by first being prayerfully merciful and charitable to our neighbor! This enables us to see clearly to help others remove the speck in their eye.
“Above all have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8