Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Question from a Reader:

A reader asked me:

Please do a post explaining the utility of this verse:
Matthew 7:1-5 (GWT, God’s Word Translation)
“Stop judging so that you will not be judged. Otherwise, you will be judged by the same standard you use to judge others. The standards you use for others will be applied to you. So why do you see the piece of sawdust in another believer’s eye and not notice the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to another believer, ‘Let me take the piece of sawdust out of your eye,’ when you have a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye. Then you will see clearly to remove the piece of sawdust from another believer’s eye.”

As I am about the furthest thing from a Biblical scholar, I will relate to you what this passage means to me. Since you posted your question inside a blog I wrote about the young man who thought he was gay and then killed himself, I will try to stay with that sub-text. What Our Lord is telling us all: Never condemn anyone; that is His job. For we must always approach everyone, even the greatest sinners, with a generous amount of charity. The Spanish mystic Fray Luis de Leon wrote: “God measures out according as we measure out and forgives as we forgive, and comes to our rescue with the same rescue with the same tenderness as he sees us having towards others.” In other words: we must always despise the sin, we can never love the act of murder, but we can love the sinner. I am forever brought back to the killer of St. Maria Goretti, who attempted to rape the young girl, then savagely ended her life, who later gained a great conversion and spent the rest of his days in solemn atonement.

In addition, I find this advice from St. Augustine, incredibly enlightening: “Try to acquire those virtues which you think your brothers lack, and you will no longer see their defects, because you will not have them.” With this in mind, we must continually look deeper. The road to perfection is never-ending. The Saints, even those who were walled up in monasteries and had very little contact with the outside world, became some of the most introspective people in history. They examined their actions, and their thoughts, in order to root out even the minutest specks of sin. I have found that those who lash out at others the most often: are actually those who interiorly suffer with hidden shadows of shame. Thankfully, the Lord has stripped away my past ties to all that I was. Hence, I was able to write my book about all the horrors of my life. God showed me His Love. So, I can do nothing other than truly love my brothers and sisters in the gay community: for this reason, I speak out to them. At times, I may sound harsh, as I am human and I have emotions. Because I know that they are worth more. They were created for something better than what they have. I will never condemn them. For God is merciful. He showed me the Mercy of all His Love; even when I didn’t want it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I think Jesus is telling us we are not perfect and we are pointing out other people's faults because we possess them ourselves. Condemning another person shows we have little if any Godly love and compassion for ourselves and each other. God does not want anyone to be condemned to Hell.

    Judgement and condemnation takes our thoughts off our Heavenly Father and onto what we are being judged and condemned about. We then fall out of fellowship with Him because we focus on that and neglect prayer and worship.

    The last two weeks have taught me that I (anyone) can end up doing the devil's work for him and not realize it until after the fact. I am definitely not perfect and need more of God's grace. I criticize because that is what I experienced growing up. Being in physical pain is not helping. I say this because I want to use myself as an example. Something going on *in* me is causing me to act *out* negatively towards others. By Jesus' stripes I am healed and I pray for the people I have unintentionally hurt.

    May God continue to give us a larger portion of His wisdom and bless our understanding. May He continue to give us His strength to genuinely show Godly love towards each other. T. W.