Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
Would others describe you as a positive or negative person? If you fall into the negative category, you probably struggle with passing judgment on others. Paul implores us to remove the stumbling block of criticism in our lives. It doesn’t just affect us it affects those around us as well. Our judgmental spirit might become an obstacle to someone coming to know Christ.
Paul uses his epistles to address issues in the church. He hadn’t been to Rome when he wrote a letter to them, so he didn’t have first-hand knowledge. The book of Romans has been called the basic manual for Christians. It is Paul’s instruction in the basics for how we are to live out our faith. Did the Roman church struggle with criticism? We don’t know, but Paul knew that it was a struggle for most of us.
Focus on the Plank
In our pursuit of being right, we often judge others to support our point. When we do that we are like the man with the plank in our eye struggling to bring attention to the speck in our brother’s eye. Matthew 7:4-5 tells us to focus on the plank in our eye before we focus on the speck in another’s. I think we’d be amazed at how much time we spend judging other people. For some of us, it has turned into a full-time pursuit. Our commitment to stop judging will remove the stumbling block from someone else’s life.
Hold Your Tongue
We need to stop elevating ourselves to the position of judge. That spot is for Jesus. Instead, we need to look for ways to clear the path to Christ. Our judging can trip others up. A subtle jab or strong opinion can send someone else down the wrong road. It can jade how that person thinks of another. Commit today to hold your tongue in your judgment of other people. It will remove the stumbling block from your life and in the church.