Today while running a bug flew directly into my eye. I was at the bottom of a steep hill and had started my ascent back when this bug made a conscious effort to blind me. I messed with it for several minutes before I finally was able to get it out fully from my eye. Thus irritating it, and me in the process.
You ever have a lesson come flying into your face like that? Maybe not literally but when you just get smacked by something you know was a lesson meant for you in what you are in at the time?
For the past week I had been pointing out the speck in a brother’s eye. It was a source of great frustration and angst on my part. I chose to let it be my issue and in doing so, created a felt need to point it out. One interaction was all it took for me to truly shed my sisterly love and affection in the moment and cast judgement on him. To be honest here, there is part of it which needs to still be addressed as a concern. But as I groped and prodded my eye, I just knew that I had the large plank lodged in my own eye that was made of ego and pride. Yet I still was pointing at every turn in the speck in my brother’s eye.
Friends it was not a good moment for me in that. I cringe even now thinking of the words I used in judgement of him. It’s an ugly thing when we judge others. We aren’t exhibiting compassion. We aren’t choosing to understand nor to love. We are choosing our ego and pride, haughtiness and self-importance. We sever bonds built in friendship and love and replace them with gaps of disdain, fear, anger and hurt.
I had been (and likely am still) walking around with this plank lodged firmly in my eye that was blinding me to my own sin-filled ego. I had bound it up with pride, and carried it firmly out in front of me like a banner. Pride comes before a fall. A haughty spirit before destruction. (Proverbs 16:10)
All of this was getting in the way of a bigger ministry. It was supplanting the focus of time and energy. Most of it was my own doing simply because I wasn’t being used the way I thought I should be. There’s the ego….ushering in the pride. I put a chip on my shoulder, a plank in my eye and chose to not focus on the work God wanted to do. Instead I pointed a finger firmly at a brother’s misgivings, instead of showing mercy and grace.
So don’t let it take a bug flying into your eye to see what ugliness judgement can cause in a relationship with a brother or sister in Christ, or with others in general. Choose to humbly give compassion, seek understanding and forgiveness. But for heaven’s sake, recognize the plank sticking out of your own eye as other’s can see it protruding about like a banner of pride.
Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:1-5 (HCSB)