I was mad! Having returned from a weekend trip with my wife, I was putting things away. That’s me, the organizer. Got to put everything back in its proper place, and there was our map half folded and stuck in the van console.
It was the half-folded part that really burned my bread. “Why would anybody fold a map, but not take the time to do it right? I’ll just have to do it myself!” I fumed.
Ten minutes later, I stuffed the mangled mess in the trash! The thing was possessed! I’ve never seen a map so impossible to fold.
Hmmm. Do you suppose that’s why Becky gave up on it?
Did I mention the irony that the weekend trip we had taken was to a marriage seminar? Did I mention that one thing the seminar helped me to realize is that I need to be more patient and less grumpy?
OK, so I’ve still got some work to do. It’s just that conclusions are low. They are easy to jump to. So, it's easy to get angry before really understanding the situation.
Jesus cautioned us not to do that: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). He also cautioned us to avoid minimizing our own flaws while magnifying others’. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” he asked (7:3).
Which is the greater sin, to improperly fold a map, or to improperly respect another person? Obviously, my sin is the greater, and I should focus on correcting that.
Now that we’ve discussed my sins, let’s talk about yours. I like that better!
Are you sometimes highly critical of others? (If you really want to know, ask your family.) Are you often angry because somebody didn't do something the way you think they should? Do you fume about the mistakes of others while ignoring your own? (I assume that you’re pretty normal and that’s a problem for you just as it is for me.)
Jesus reminds us today to be careful how we measure people – how demanding we are of them. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged,” he says, “ and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (7:2)
It seems to me that’s a pretty clear and simple behavioral map that Jesus drew for us. It doesn’t need to be folded, just followed.