Jesus said, “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
“Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.
“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:1-12
As a child and young person, I used to think that if I was good enough and faithful, God would give me exactly what I asked for. Sometimes the religious leaders and faith healers made me feel judged because I wasn't getting well or wasn't succeeding. I have grown to understand that the Creator is always opening doors, always, always answering prayer, and ever being a perfect, loving parent who know what we need even before we ask. I have learned it is me who wasn't facing the direction of God, or I was listening to the wrong tune and shutting out the answers.
Jesus is trying to explain God's love for us. We often think that God has abandoned us when we don't get the answers we want. Yet the Creator of all, the lover of all, has answers for us, even when we are turned away or tuned out. God invites us today to turn around, look in the unexamined places, and seek God continually, putting all judgement aside.
Today, I ask God to help me be flexible and open to the answers and directions I seek. May we all be listening with new ears, seeking with new eyes, and open to God who love us immeasurably and calls us each by name.