Genesis 38:24-26 About three months later, Judah was told, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has acted like a prostitute. And now, because of this, she’s pregnant.” “Bring her out, and let her be burned!” Judah demanded. But as they were taking her out to kill her, she sent this message to her father-in-law: “The man who owns these things made me pregnant. Look closely. Whose seal and cord and walking stick are these?” Judah recognized them immediately and said, “She is more righteous than I am, because I didn’t arrange for her to marry my son Shelah.” And Judah never slept with Tamar again.
A friend who is addicted to alcohol criticizes your smoking habit. Your girlfriend gossips about your gossip problem. It’s what people do. We judge others when we are just as guilty of the same things. I saw a sign recently that read, “don’t judge me just because my sin looks different than yours.” Now don’t get me wrong, we need to be called out on our sin. We need accountability. We need friends who steer us toward God. But let’s not burn the prostitute when we are the ones who slept with her… so to speak.
Judah was a man of God. He had no business sleeping with a prostitute; he knew better than that. Unbeknownst to him, the prostitute he slept with wasn’t a prostitute at all – it was his daughter-in-law. Ew. A while later, Judah is told that Tamar committed an act of prostitution. Now here is where awareness of your own sin comes in. This is when you think to yourself, “I really want to punish her, but I just slept with a prostitute myself.” Instead, he recommends burning her.
Jesus said that we should remove the plank from our own eye before we point out the speck in our brother’s eye. That’s like someone covered in dirt saying to a friend, “Hey, you’ve got a little dirt on your face.” What’s a little dirt on a friend matter if you are covered in it yourself? It was upon the realization that he was filthy himself that Judah changed his tone. He exclaimed that this sinner was far more righteous than he was. He became painfully aware of his own shortcomings and it caused him to have grace on her. If we would only do the same, we might be able to extend some grace also.
Is your pointer finger covered in dirt?