I’m not sure how it happens but pride and arrogance have a difficulty staying in the grave. We begin slowly to think that we are better than we are. We think that we are superior to others around us. It begins to show by little actions of hubris, our humility seems to dissipate, and we begin to judge others. Its crazy! In direct defiance to the command of our Savior and Lord we look down on another. We assign evil intentions to another’s actions. We pass judgement on them.
Matthew 7.1,2 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.
When the rebuke comes, it is offensive to us. Whether it comes from the gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit, a private word questioning your actions and attitudes, or whether it comes publicly. We have entrusted what was circulating in our hearts to be revealed by our lips. There is enough hubris to salve over the course and ungodly action of speaking it out. Soon we are accustomed to speaking without guarding our lips. Then the rebuke comes. It causes our spirit to recoil. We are offended, we withdraw, and, if we respond well to the Holy Spirit we are ashamed!
Judging another is forbidden. It is necessary to look at another’s actions and discern that those actions are sinful and unwise. It is possible to judge another as ‘unfit for hire’ as an evaluation of their character. These kinds of benign judgments are not what the scripture has in mind. It is the condemnation of another. David Hill says the disciples of Jesus are “not be censorious or condemning in their attitude toward others.” James 4.11 ties the action to include slander of another’s character.
My experience is that this temptation comes to us all very frequently. Be sure to know that this is a revelation, not of your spiritual superiority, but of your pride. For this condemnation can only exist in a heart that is tainted with an inflated sense of self-righteousness. This is why it is so offensive to be confronted with our carnality and sin!
Jesus warned that our judging invites an equal condemnation. This is not something to be taken lightly. God does not wink at his Word. We must be careful to exercise due diligence in judging the sins of our own heart. (It is so easy to let ourselves slide in mercy while wielding a sword of judgment on another) James repeats the threat and adds “Who are you to judge your neighbor?” That maybe where we really fail. We judge thinking we are ‘somebody’. In reality, we are ‘somebody’s’. We belong to another who has an answer to our pride. It is the Cross of Jesus Christ.
We judge thinking we are ‘somebody’. In reality, we are ‘somebody’s’.
The Apostle Paul said “I die everyday…” (1 Cor 15.31) There is an obligation to die to self and to our ego. Only in the self-less life can we find freedom from the invitation to be “judged with the measure we use”. I pray that you will find the freedom of humility and that you will guard your heart from the troubles caused by the in-creep of pride.