The funniest thing of all was that I, the most average looking Australian, was to judge the looks of all these beautiful Filipino girls.
Reference: v.7 The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. (NIV Bible)
Explore: 'When you point your finger it's important to notice the three fingers pointing back at yourself.' During one of my visits to the Philippines I discovered that I had been nominated to be a judge at a beauty contest. I had no idea what I was doing or how I was to judge each category of fashion wear and there were few people around me who could explain it all in English! The funniest thing of all was that I, the most average looking Australian, was to judge the looks of all these beautiful Filipino girls. Who was I to sit there and judge others on their beauty and fashion?!
Application: I felt so out of place judging all these beautiful young girls in the beauty pageant because I knew that I was no beauty myself. Who was I to judge these girls? And yet in my every day life I am actually quite a critical person. I judge people's actions, their speech, their integrity and their outward appearance. And when I do it's like I turn a blind eye to all my own failings. In this passage in Deuteronomy we hear of the fairly severe punishment that was delivered to the Israelites if they were found to be worshipping other gods. While death was a harsh punishment I thought that it was interesting that those who accused the person had to be there to throw the first stone. It wasn't just an easy accusation to make and then walk away from all responsibility, but the person accusing the other of such a sin had to be seen by all others that they had the right to throw such a harsh judgment on someone else. When we judge others we often throw criticism out before really critiquing our own lives. We point the finger and ignore the three fingers pointing back at us. The laws that God gave the Israelites were not to be used lightly but to allow everyone to strive to evaluate their own lives.
Prayer: Lord, I am often so quick to judge others. Help me to see other people with love and not forget my own sinfulness. Amen.
Is there someone who you have judged harshly or unfairly?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.