I’d rather not have splinters nor beams in my eye
Ya wanna know what irks me? When my Catholic friends, in their social media personas, use language unbefitting of a Catholic.
I’ll leave that there for now. Upon saying that, I instantly have the following flash through my mind:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. (Matt 7:1-5)
In my P.C. days (pre-Catholic, or at least pre-serious Catholic), my own verbiage certainly took on shades of blue, so who am I to judge? Maybe the people I criticize are in the midst of their own P.C. days.
My default position on most modern social habits is one of skepticism (tradition is not in this category). Since everyone tosses out the “Don’t judge me!” defense of their own questionable activity, I usually doubt the applicability of Jesus’ teaching in their particular situation. “Don’t judge me!” is a philosophical and logical fad; the argumentative equivalent of parachute pants, Tickle-Me-Elmo, and football (here’s hoping!). People who criticize others for being judgmental are 1) bearing judgment on another’s judgmentalism, and 2) usually being overly liberal in their use of the phrase. Do I think my Catholic facebook friends who use bad language or going to Hell? I have absolutely no way of knowing and would never masquerade as God the Judge. Does that deferral to God thereby render me unable to admonish the sinner? I certainly hope not, for my sake.
Put the shoe on the other foot. Let’s say that you, admittedly a sinner, see me willfully engaging in a sinful act. Do you “judge not” and let me spiral downward? If you care about me one whit, I certainly hope you would be judgmental. Letting me continue in sin is equivalent to not caring about my eternal salvation. Sure, my sin may be relatively small like a bad word, but if I can’t trust you to correct me in small matters, why would I trust you to correct me in large ones?
So while I’m working on removing the many wooden beams from my eye, please don’t hesitate to remove the splinters from my eye too. I’d rather see as clearly as I possibly can.
And facebook friends, please watch the language.