Graceful is not a word that is a common as it used to be. Today we don’t often say, “he or she is graceful” or “give him a little grace.” It’s a little old school. Not only do we not use the word, but we are also a bit reluctant to do the word. To be graceful or to act in a graceful or grace-filled way. One of the reasons is we want people to earn our respect, not just get it without a cost. People need to win our acceptance. When they don’t win us over, we dismiss them. Instead of extending grace, we become judgmental.
Judging has a negative connotation even though it literally means “to form an opinion or conclusion about something.” That doesn’t sound too bad. So what’s the big deal? Well, how we form our opinions matters. Take a look at Matthew 7:3-4 “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? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”
Jesus is saying you shouldn’t judge others unless you use the same standard for yourself. Jesus is not saying you should never form an opinion about others but the first opinion should be of yourself.
If you do the painful work of removing a log from your eye you’ll be more compassionate in dealing with others. Someone accurately put it this way. “We judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.”