My brothers, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.…
I. OURS IS A CRITICAL AGE, and we, most of us, have learned how to criticise. It has been raised to a science. We can distinguish the false from the true, the impostor from the honest man. We can put the motive to everything that is done. We can estimate character, we can measure the degrees of virtue and of vice; nay, so clever have we grown in this accomplishment, that we discover things that never existed, see unkindness where none was meant, deceit and hypocrisy in the honest and the true, selfishness in some act of generosity which we cannot otherwise account for.
II. JUDGE NOT.
1. Because we cannot judge aright. Even when there is no beam in our own eye to obscure our vision, and no want of charity to bias our judgment, we cannot truly judge of the motives which are at work in another. The French have a motto, that "To know everything is to forgive everything"; and if this is not literally true, at least it embodies a truth, which we are slow enough to admit, that we often judge by the outside fact and give no credit for the hidden motive. "Men who see into their neighbours," says an acute observer of human nature, "are very apt to be contemptuous; but men who see through them find something lying behind every human soul which they cannot judge and dare not sneer at."
2. It is the very worst policy possible. The man who judges harshly will be harshly judged. But he who has always a good word to say of another will find but few critics and many friends. I was much struck by a chance remark made to me by a friend not long ago. Speaking of a neighbour, he said: "He seems a good sort of man. I never heard him speak against any one; and that is the kind of man I like."
3. If you are honest with yourself, you dare not judge. To judge, you must yourself be at least free from the sin which you profess to judge (Matthew 7:5; John 8:7). It is God's prerogative (Romans 14:4). What if the Master should judge us as we are so ready to judge our fellow men? What if God should take us at our word, and forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us?
(A. L. Moore, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.