Thursday, July 15, 2010

I’m Starting With the Man In the Mirror

I’m Starting With the Man In the Mirror

“For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:2 (New King James Version)

My grandmother is a seamstress in every sense of the word. All thirty plus years of my life, she has sewed, hemmed, created patterns from news papers, taken out, let in and just about everything in between to the bolts of materials brought to her by those wishing for her innovative techniques regarding fashion. Not only did she sew, but she taught all six of her daughters to sew.

I remember times where more than a hundred choir robes needed to be put created in less than a month. They would all get together, including my grandmothers sisters, and play those sewing machines like the Jacksons played “Dancing Machine”. Each played a role that suited their ability. Measuring, chalking, cutting, pinning, darting, ironing, and finally sewing. What was equally unique about each is the measuring utensil they used for their part of the project. There were yard sticks (which unfortunately my but is all too familiar with). There were rulers, tape measures, and even measuring tools directly on the machine for more accurate seams.

In reflection of this harmonious work, I think of all the ways we measure people and situations.
“For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:2 (New King James Version)

Here is the relevant question I would like to pose: Does God really care if we judge? In my heart, I don’t believe He does. I believe Jesus was simple in His approach to this matter of judgment. What we use to judge- our knowledge, wisdom, opinion or character- that will be used to judge us. The measure we use- our tact, reverence, humility, discretion or piety- that will be measured back to us. In other words, judge if we must. If we do, we must make sure we have what it takes to judge and judge rightly.

It never ceases to amaze me who is first to comment and play judge and jury when a person of notoriety is highlighted in the headlines. The commentaries of a certain sport or political party are generally first. (I call them judges masked in the media’s clothing.) Then you have the survey of the people, polled by such individuals. (I call them the peanut gallery of the pseudo judges.) Often times, we fall into the latter category. Last, you have those who actually may have a right to make an educated, identifiable, peer-to-peer observation of a person or situation. How incredible time and time again their response is succinctly and quickly, “No comment.”

You see, billionaire athletes are not all lined up to give their two cents on the indiscretions of Tiger Woods. Raven Simone will be the last to critic the public displays of Lindsay Lohan. Unless it is about the sport, Jordan doesn’t comment on Kobe. Short of acting and talent being appreciated, Meg Ryan will not have words regarding the private life of Sandra Buclock or Drew Barrymore. You want to know why? Those who have the right to judge usually do so the least. They know on any given news day, they too can be the object of ridicule.

For this reason, we should all take thirty seconds to think before we give our dissertation on how we feel others are failing or prospering in life. Let’s make sure first, we sweep around our front door- real good. Then, as we prepare to speak, let’s ensure we have a measuring stick small or big enough to make an appropriate assessment. This is how we hold each other accountable. I have an opinion on many things. Faith, work ethic, parenting and relationships are some of my favorites to brainstorm and discuss. However, I realize there is a fine line between my instruction on such subjects and my ability to live through those same lessons I so desire to teach. There are some things I even know to be right. My Bible tells me so. But my lack of mastery often keeps me from discussing them openly in depth.

How unfair it would be for the doctor to measure my baby with the same measuring tool she uses to measure me. How unfair it is for us to take our little rulers out and measure people and situations that deserve a different tool for adequate measure.

My encouragement to you is to use great discretion in this life. We would all like an over flow of blessings, but we have to remember the means by which we bless. For the Bible declares, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38 (New International Version)

Man In the Mirror- Michael Jackson
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change

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