As I awakened this morning, God started pumping a concept into my heart. It is strong; a message always needed for those of us who seek first the kingdom.
Jesus was most merciful. Forgiveness is his name as well as purpose. Yet, there was one type of person of which he stubbornly would not yield the slightest of understanding; the critic. Jesus was only critical of the critic.
He could overlook sin and see the sinner in nearly unspeakable dimensions. But he gave no room to the squint-eyed religious sort who continually harped about the error of another. As flexible as Jesus was, he gave no room to the faultfinder toward others.
Of all of the wonderful works among us and of all of the many wonderful new ideas which bless, the body of Christ remains stifled to unimaginable degree because we have a blind eye and a deaf ear toward the call of Matthew 7:1-6. Judgment of others is permitted only when we are first aware our own sins are significant blemishes. It is this part that we experience a unique slippery slope.
Jesus draws the line on the critic; whether it's me on my judgmental day or my enemy on his. Jesus is inflexible when it comes to a member of the church that lives in constant criticism of leadership and ministry.
Paul reinforces this when he says in Romans 2:1-5 that when we judge another we are guilty of the same. This truth will not let us loose. The story of the Prodigal's brother is a picture of the silly critic. Those who criticize are always on the other side of the line from Jesus. He made no exceptions.
For us? We want to mature in releasing the need to be critical; disparaging toward leaders, toward other churches, toward one another. Yet, it must be noted that this area has two facets; (1) we are not to be the initiator of criticism, and (2) we are to decisively stand against the one who is.
Even the Judgment hinges on this necessity of truth; For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. As seen in Jesus, the flexibility of God takes a harsh stand of intolerance toward those who find delight in judging others with no awareness of our own glare.