Why is it so easy to fall into judging and criticizing and condemning others even when I know that what I dish out is going to come back to me?
Jesus said: "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults--unless, of course, you want the same treatment.
That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging.
It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.
Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt?
It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
Mat 7:1-5 The Message
I wonder if it has to do with how much easier, and safer, it is to examine others than it is to do a healthy self-examination? Then there is the sense (false) that I am somehow superior because I can identify YOUR flaws. And what about the old adage, "the best defense is a good offense?" Defense against what? It is way too easy for me to adopt the attitude described above.
But wait, I'm a nice guy. I don't do those kinds of things, at least with the nice people who treat me well. Actually our contempt for others (that is what Jesus is describing) can take many subtle forms. When I am really, really honest with myself, I am quite capable of these more subtle forms of contempt. The most severe form of contempt would be homicide, then less severe things like active abuse in many forms. But the continuum doesn't end there. It continues on down to the more socially acceptable forms of contempt, like sarcasm, despising the feminine or despising the masculine, ignoring, avoiding, neglecting, etc. This is how couples grow apart over time. When I fail to recognize these more subtle forms of failing to love my spouse well, I grow away from my spouse. To be continued…