It is easy for one to be critical of another. We often assign motive or blame for words spoken or actions taken. We easily see the shortfalls of someone else and point out all their weaknesses. The trouble is that we almost always tend to minimize our own faults while exalting those of others. Jesus warned against this very action in Matthew 7:1-5.
A vital point of understanding in this context is to recognize that Jesus did not condemn criticism and judgment of every kind. Verse five indicates that casting the mote out of a brother’s eye is an acceptable action once one deals with the beam in his own. At times it is necessary to judge the conduct of a brother. How else could we fulfill the injunction of Jas 5:19-20?
What Jesus condemned is the censorious attitude of the constant fault finder. The one who unfairly casts sentence on another. The Jews struggled with this, and the Pharisees in particular (Rom. 2:1-4; Matt. 23). The problem with this attitude is that it ignores the command to judge righteously (John 7:24)–that is, to use the righteous standard of God’s Word to make a determination of right and wrong– and it neglects the golden rule (Matt. 7:12) by placing a standard upon someone else that we fail to apply to ourselves.
Instead of placing our brother’s actions under a microscope, we ought to place our own. Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates” (2 Cor. 13:5). It has been said that everyone is a critic. Perhaps that is true. Perhaps, to an extent, that is needed. But our criticism should begin with ourselves. By looking into the mirror of God’s Word and allowing it to show us for who we really are so that we may make the proper adjustments. Remember, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matt. 7:2).