I do not know about you, but I often seem to get a beam in my eye or am not able to clearly see the best way, according to God, to solve a situation or heal a relationship.  It is important we recognize we have a beam in our eye because if not we cannot get it out.  Life is funny that way, how things before our eyes blind us to reality.  When I first gave my heart to the Lord I was told all I had to do was:  read the Bible, pray, and go to church, but many years later I find to really serve the Lord, in Spirit and truth, it requires much much more. A beam can be many things; a wrong thought, a wrong motive, a wrong attitude, wrong advice, or even down right sin.  Now God has a reason for us to get the beam out of our eye, I believe if we allow Him to open our eyes then we will be able to help our brothers and sisters with the mote (splinter) in their eye.  But we (especially Christians) as a people do not like to be judged, it is a part of our nature and character, we do not like to be told we are wrong or need to shape up in certain areas even if it is God telling us. When someone says something to us (exposing an area in our lives) that needs our attention (especially Christians) we dig our heels in the ground instead of agreeing with the person.  At the heart of this thinking is a resistance and even a rebellion if it is to those in authority in our lives.  But most times it is a spouse, friend, or acquaintance that sees an area we need help in. I know this is true in my life, Karen is very good at this.  Having to eat crow does not taste good going down, but rarely do we see the benefit and value in our lives unless we can learn the lesson of the advice. Now make no mistake not all judgment about us is good, we must have wisdom to be able to discern was is from the Lord and what is from the evilness of man.  When one shares with us an opportunity to better ourselves most often we will be able to discern the spirit of their intent and know then know they are really looking out for us as well as when one is not thinking of our best interest. When I pastored in Germany many Christians from around the world would come and want to pray for me, well I quickly learned not to allow just any body to lay hands on me.  And I am always amazed with people saying, “you cannot say that you are judging me” as if we never make judgments during the day. Our day is full of making judgments we make judgments:  to the clothing we will wear, the food we will eat, the places we will go, the people we hang out with, and on and on.  If we make these earthly judgments (and we do) why can’t we make spiritual judgments?  I think the inability to make spiritual judgments about our lives and others is one of the biggest areas in our lives that cause us to stumble.  Did you know there are some places you cannot go or some people you cannot hang around and still serve the Lord?  Oh no brother you are judging me. I cannot believe the number of times I have heard that when I make an observation about something that I see that does not line up with the word of God.  Most people (especially Christians) go to Mathew and recite, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1).  It is amazing how people know verses in the Bible that support their arguments to defend their opinions, but rarely know any verses that will enable them to grow spiritually.  But if they continue on in their reading they will learn Jesus was really saying we are to judge ourselves so we can help our brothers and sister take the mote (small splinter) out of their eyes. “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:2-5)  Jesus was saying if we do not judge ourselves we will not be able to see (understand or know) clearly how to remove the beam (a wrong thought, a wrong motive, a wrong attitude, wrong advice, or even down right sin) in our eye and the mote in others eyes.   In verse 5 we read, ”Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” It is God’s intention for us to help our brothers and sisters remove areas not of God in their lives, through judgment, but first we must remove maybe the same areas or even others in our lives. The work of judging starts with us, not with our brothers or sisters.  If we have allowed God to so work in our heart and lives we will have the ability in God to know the difference between right and wrong (because we will know the Bible), righteousness and unrighteousness, godliness and ungodliness (because we will have a spirit of discernment)  we will have the ability to judge righteous judgment. It is no wonder we do not see much spiritual growth and development, most Christians lack an ability and spirit of discernment to recognize sin when they see it and then fail to separate themselves from it.  Spiritual judgment always requires a separation in our lives, have it be us coming out from the world and being separate or us separating ourselves from things and people that would drag us down in God.   It is no wonder we do not see people coming to the Lord. I can remember when I was growing up many people every Sunday would come to the realization of their lack and need in their lives without Christ and then come to realization of their need for Christ, but we do not see that experience moving in most churches in America today.  If we would stop preaching a man-centered, feel good, Jesus loves you message I know we would see different results.  It worked in the past and it will work now, but we must get over the desire for large churches and ministries, offering plates running over with money to feed a denominational monster, and pastors, preachers, and teachers full of ambition who want their ego stroked.  People say to me, “why do you say such things about the church? Why can’t you look for the positive things; the people we feed, the houses we build, the songs we sing, look at our choir.”  Well, all of these things are good to do, but they will not get us to heaven.  Only when we recognize our need and lack can God come and meet them.  It is our lack that brings us to God and only when we can see our need.  When we come to a place of self-judgment before man and God we come to a place where God can begin to work in our lives.

Paul has a lot to say about judging ourselves.  Most if not all of Paul’s letters and words to the churches was judgment.  Now I am not comparing myself to Paul, but it is the same Spirit that moved in Paul is to be moving in us.  Paul could only say the things he said because he had the Holy Spirit moving in him. So too we are to have the Holy Spirit moving in us.  Paul in 1 Corinthians has much to say about self-judgment.  In verse 30-32 we read,   “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”  Talking about how people do not judge themselves before they partake of the communion table “are weak and sickly” have no spiritual growth and development and even “sleep” or fall out of God totally because, “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:30-32)  If we judge ourselves we will not have God and others judging us. If we judge our selves correctly it is really God  chastening us.  Make no mistake my friend it is far greater we judge ourselves than for God to bring judgment on us.  I often ask people (especially Christians) if they know we are to judge angels?  You know angels today in the church are really idolized, well did you know angels, in God’s big scheme of things are lower than us humans?  Paul tells us also in Corinthians, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?”  (1 Corinthians 6:2-5)  I wonder when we will find time to learn how to judge angels?  Can you image having to judge Michael or Gabriel?  When are we going to learn how to judge the world if we cannot learn how to judge ourselves and others? “and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?”  How and when do we learn how to “judge the smallest matters?” When will we learn how to judge ourselves and others?  When we allow God to teach us to get the beam out of our eyes so we can help our brothers and sisters with getting the mote out of their eyes.  Sadly here in the Church at Corinth they were judging each other without first allowing God to so work in their lives, removing areas that easily blinded them.  This type of judgment leads to confusion and strife, loss of relationship, hatred and malice within the Body of Christ and in families. I have seen it over my many years.  I have done it to my shame, but after I have learned and allowed God to help me take the beam out of my eye, though His dealings and judgments, I now have the ability in God to help take the mote or beam out of my brothers or sisters eyes.  Again this is God’s intention for us.  God does not intend for us to go through life with a beam or even a mote in our eye.  How will we have them removed if someone does not help us?  How will we see clearly to know what is the truth?  Separation and truth walk hand in hand. What is the righteous choice in a situation or the difference in an ungodly situation. All of this happens my friend when we are able in God to come to a place of self-judgment. Make no mistake my friend we will make mistakes (I have time and time again), but in time and through mistake after mistake we will learn to know what God wants us to know and learn the mind of Christ in any given situation or circumstance. If not then we can of course keep deceiving ourselves.

My friend we hear truth taught and say amen and think we have it, but it is not ours until we have allowed God to work the spoken truth into our lives.  Hearing and thinking is not enough.  There must be a tearing down of our old thinking patterns and ways, then a building up in us to be able to walk in truth.  God never builds on another’s foundation. This is a daily process whereby we submit our bodies as living sacrifices (which is our reasonable service) to God’s dealings and judgments in our lives.  This message does not preach well in most churches maybe that is why most churches have lost the moving of the Holy Spirit.  God intends for us to be able to get the mote our of out brothers and sisters eyes, please do not fall short of God’s intention and cower like a whipped dog, but stand in boldness armed with the truth of the word of God and proclaim, “thus saith the Lord.”  You know whether it be a beam or a mote the spiritual condition is still the same, blindness.  The only real difference between the two is the effort it will take to remove it.  A beam requires great effort on our part, us working together with God, but a mote requires little effort just a brother or sister with a heart that has been softened and humbled by God.