The sin of “calling people out”…

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Matthew 7:“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2 For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.”

This can be a confusing passage because of the wide range of meanings of the word “judge” in English and Greek. Here’s what the N.I.B. Bible Commentary says:

“Matthew does assume that occasions occur within the community when ethical discernment and community discipline are called for (cf. 7:15–20; 18:15–20), but they must be made by those aware of their own failures and of God’s forgiveness.”

Unfortunately the modern Christian witness, from both the Christian right and Christian left, often involves self-righteous people vigorously confessing other peoples’ sins and shortcomings. Social media, in which the act of “calling people out” is a favorite past-time, is the worst. It involves an intense scrutiny on the words and actions of others – with little personal humility or confession of our own sins. Jesus warns that when we condition our minds to focus on the wrongs of others we risk of bringing judgment on ourselves.

Lord have mercy on us. Amen.

 

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