Jesus warned us not to be critical. “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use. Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5
What is the beam or plank in your eye? We see a speck in someone’s eye that looks like a beam. Yet seeing it as a beam is actually the beam in our eye. We are not seeing correctly because we have become the judge. Do not judge. Are we to ignore facts? Clearly not. The context states that we are still to help our brother because we do see something wrong – but since we have removed the beam we are no longer judging them. Only God can judge them.
Oswald Chambers wrote:
The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person. Every wrong thing that I see in you, God finds in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself. Stop having a measuring stick for other people. We do not know everything about their situation. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.
It feels good to think of yourself as superior. I know the feeling. It is amazing how we can convince ourselves we are on the right side of history, the holder of truth, and be glad that we are not among those who are ignorant and foolish. That is a sad place to be. We lose our relationship with God because we play God. We think He would agree with us, even though we have no need of Him. He is the ultimate judge, not us.
As it says in the book of James, the only thing to do is to humble yourselves before the Lord so that He will exalt you. James continues and states There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? So, with all the cleverness you can muster, creatively and wonderfully build others up, and remove some specks if you can.