“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”
Luke 6:41-42 NASB
We humans are relentlessly farsighted. We are good at looking at others and seeing the problems in their lives. We judge, we backbite, we gossip, we slander. We are far less able to look at ourselves, or apply the same measures to our own lives.
I spent a large part of my life pointing at other people. I would see a behavior and size people up on the spot. In most cases my judgements were very critical. I never thought of how I would appear if I applied the same measure to myself.
In the early steps on my journey with Christ, I fancied myself a fruit inspector. I looked at other believers and sought to judge them based on what thought a good christian should be in regard to behavior. My assessments were on the surface. I never considered the heart or what was going on in their lives.
I also didn’t consider what was happening inside of me. There were strongholds of sin in me that God was demolishing. God had much work to do in my life and and my private existence away from the eyes of others was messy. Yet I set about pointing out the specks in the eyes of others, though I had huge planks protruding from mine.
As I grew in the Lord, I could see the sin in me more clearly. The brightness of His righteousness forced my faults from the shadows and brought them into the light. This led to a shift in my focus. I became nearsighted as I could see my own glaring faults and the need to deal with them through the power of the Holy Spirit. With that I was brought low. About that time the physical challenges began as the Lord used them to bring me to the end of myself, that I be made humble and more usable in His kingdom.
My heart for others was opened. Instead of judgement of others, I felt empathy. I came to understand that the sinfulness I saw in others was really a projection of the sin in my life. I recognized it because it was in me. I learned to pray rather than judge, to love rather than point out the fault. As I looked inward, God transformed my heart to look outward through His eyes and with His heart.
God changed my heart toward other believers. He has also changed my heart toward those who have not come to a saving knowledge of God. I remember the desperation of a life caught up in sin, of being stuck in a mire, unable to climb out.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.”
Psalms 40:1-2 NASB
I was not able to lift myself, it took a loving and patient God to lift me and save me. That same God is transforming me day by day. How dare I not consider that I was also a sinner bound for hell. I need to love them, be truthful to them and tell them of the cross. I must also tell them of the consequence of hell. To not do so is to hate them. I do not focus on their specific sins. It really doesn’t matter. They are condemned already simply because they do not know Jesus.
I believe we are at a time where me must focus on the cross. It is easy to be distracted by all the symptoms of sin such as the behaviors and social consequences. The salvation of our God must be the focus of our approach to those on the abyss. Hell is real and it is eternal.
In church and out of church, let’s consider our own personal revival first. When we have sawed away at our planks we can lovingly minister to those struggling and those lost.
God has placed us here to be the light of the world. Let there be no planks casting shadows.
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