Do you remember that old saying "putting the cart before the horse"? It's a great image. With your cart before your horse, your cart will go nowhere. Not to mention that you may have a fairly frustrated horse to boot.
It's often important that we do things in the correct order. Pick up the potholders and then grab the pizza out of the oven. Make sure the shower water is hot and then lather up. Remove the gas cap and then start pumping gas.
Here's why I'm thinking about this. With all the faces, facts, and falsities we're confronted with day after day through the news and social media, we are tempted to do things out of order. We are tempted to make judgments about people and circumstances before 1) we've got all the information and 2) we've taken a serious look at our own garbage before making a judgment about someone else's. We put the cart before the horse and judge someone else before judging ourselves.
Jesus famously made a point about this very thing.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5
It's so easy to scroll down my news feed and make judgments about people and their circumstances. I'm actually quite amazed at how quickly I am able to make such judgments considering how fast I often scroll through. You'd think I hadn't even had the time to correctly make such a judgment. And you'd be right.
Before I judge our president to be a hypocrite or liberals to be liars or protesters to be trouble-makers or gays to have an agenda, I need to pause. Maybe a long pause. Some days, that pause could take the rest of the day. I need to pause and consider my own faults. My own shortcomings. My own hypocrisy. My own lies. My own anger and desire for revenge. My own agendas. My own self-serving motivations. Yes, I need to take the time to look at myself and in doing so, make sober judgments about my own attitudes and actions.
So, there I sit. Looking over my own sins. Lamenting having such an evil streak running through me. Asking God for forgiveness and the power to change. Once that's done, I'm likely to approach someone else's attitudes and actions with a little more humility. Only now am I ready to look at the speck in someone's eye because I've dealt with the plank sticking out of my own and wondered how I was ever able to get in and out of the car with that thing.
Before we judge the motivation behind that Facebook post or political action or even why someone's sitting in a different spot at church this week, let's put the horse before the cart and judge our own motivations and why we do what we do. It could keep us busy for awhile and I think God's just fine with that.
Dave became the Senior Pastor in April 2015 at TCC after serving as the Director of Children's and Praise Ministries for 9 years. He graduated in 2011 from A.W. Tozer Seminary with a Masters in Christian Leadership. He and his wife, Katie, live in Sequim with their 6 children, 2 dogs, 15 chickens, and 50,000 honeybees.
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