Luke 6:41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
In building a backyard fence last summer, I went to the local fence store and bought a load of 10 foot 4×4 posts. I am a pretty smart guy so I figured I knew how to secure the load in my pickup. As I pulled away from a stop light on the main street through town though, I heard the horrible sound of those posts evacuating my truck bed, onto the road, blocking the intersection.
I pulled into the closest parking lot and began collecting the debris from the road, with traffic backing up for blocks in every direction. As I was working feverishly to clear the road, a man ran out of the closest business, I thought to help perhaps. Instead of assisting me though, he stood guard by his shiny pickup, which was about 10 feet away from my pickup. He informed me that if I scratched his vehicle with my posts, he was not going to be very happy.
I was already frustrated. This guy though, really angered me. How stupid… What an idiot… I began fantasizing about taking out one of his stupid headlights with a post. Suddenly, all my frustrations had a focal point. This man was the cause of all my problems. Never mind that I was the one who failed to secure the posts right. I was not about to be distracted by facts. I was having a bad day and it was this guy’s fault.
I so often do this. I can be guilty of some notable defect, but if someone comes along and offends me with his or her defect, I am profoundly insulted. It’s always different when I do it. In my me-addiction, I lend myself grace that I offer to no one else.
I imagine few people are as intolerable as an addict, who in recovery, discovers the arrogance of pointing out the defects of others. I’ve dealt with my problems, why can’t you… Never mind the destruction I have caused. Never mind the defects I still harbor. I stopped doing one bad thing, so I now am the authority on all defects for all time. I can be quite a handful.
Jesus warned of focusing on the defects of others. First take the log out of your own eye (6:42). It is not my responsibility to fix that guy with a shiny pickup. I am only responsible for my behavior and my relationship with God. When I fail, I am to confess and repent. It is not my job to confess the sins of others. I cannot fix them or repent for them. All I can do is work on me and my own walk with God.
Focusing on the defects of those around me is destructive as it distracts me from God. Jesus says I am to keep my eyes on him, not on the defects of my neighbor.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.