Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 13 No. 1 January 2011
Page 12


Wade Webster

Wade WebsterAmong other things, actress Elizabeth Taylor is known for her love of diamond jewelry. On one occasion, she was attending a social gathering where one of the guests noticed the large diamond that she was wearing. “That’s a bit vulgar,” the woman remarked. Unabashed, Taylor offered to let the woman try the ring on. As the woman gazed at the ring on her own finger, Taylor commented, “There, it’s not so vulgar now, is it?”

Sometimes, when the ring is on our finger, it doesn’t seem as gaudy as when it is on someone else’s finger. For example, when other people buy a nice house or a new car, they are covetous. However, when we do it, it is simply good stewardship. In like manner, when other people’s children misbehave, they are brats. However, when our own children misbehave, they are simply high-strung or energetic. The faults of others often appear big, while our own appear small or not at all.

We need to make sure that when we judge, we are fair. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared:

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck our of your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your own eye. (Matthew 7.1-5)

Although many people interpret Jesus’ words as condemning all judgment, that was not at all what He was doing. He was rather condemning unrighteous and unmerciful judgment. I know this because on another occasion He commanded men to judge (John 7.24). He simply wanted men to judge righteously (John 7:24) and mercifully (James 2.13).

Let’s make sure that we judge faults in our own lives with the same standard that we judge faults in the lives of others. Sin is sin whether it is in the lives of others or in our own life. It is wrong whether it is in the life of a foe or friend, family or stranger.

For Me — He Died for Me!

Ernest S. Underwood

Ernest S. Underwood

Think with me for a moment. What is the most wonderful thing anyone ever did for you? Many of us would remember the loving hand of a mother, the kindness of a father, the fellowship of a close friend. Who can argue that when our companion agreed to take us for life that such was a good and wonderful thing?

Yet, as great and wonderful as these things may be, there is something even greater and far more wonderful. We find what that is as we read Hebrews 2:9. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” Listen to it again – He tasted death for everyone. He didn’t just die for selected ones, He died for us all. Also, He died that we might have “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). This is a gift that no other could ever give. It could only be given by the sinless Son of God, the only One qualified to offer Himself. What does He ask in return? He tells us: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). He is a friend to you. Are you a friend to Him? Hear Him again in John 15:14: “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” Are you doing so?

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