"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? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." Matthew 7:3 - 5
It can be so easy for me to judge others, I am constantly reminded of this and have to check my heart often…daily. None of us are without sin. We all have blind spots and so often it can be easy to see the blind spots of others and be oblivious to our own.
Jesus is telling us something in these passages…He sees the logs in our eyes…He warns us…all of us. He's addressing me…He's addressing you in how we see our brothers and sisters in Christ. And He is making it very clear that there are logs in our eyes and so how can we even think to see the specks of sawdust in our brothers and sisters eyes clearly. So who are we to judge until the log is out of our own eye.
What is required in order to remove this log from my eye…self examination before the Lord. Praying that God would show me the log in my eye, show me the areas where I need to repent…where I need to change…where I need to love, etc. As much as these words of His are addressed to all of us as His children they are addressed to us individually because at the end of time it is me who stands before my Maker, not the entire Body of Christ as a group. I am accountable for how I have treated and judged my fellow brothers and sisters.
I find this to be a sobering thought. Each day as I live this life that I have been given will I have the heart of Christ? Will I live by that great commandment of His from John 15:12 where Jesus says, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command." Again in verse 17 Jesus says, "This is my command: Love each other."
Earlier in John 15:9 Jesus says: "Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love." For me, I think that's why it is so important to study His Word, to know it and to examine my heart and walk in obedience of what His Word says otherwise how will I know of His commands. In order to know the full character of Jesus I must read His story.
How often do I judge when I don't know the full story. I can be so quick to look at a certain situation and think I have it figured out and think I see where someone as erred and yet there is always another side to the story. It is my job to love, it doesn't mean I condone what is outright sin but the first beat of my heart should be to love and not condemn or judge.
Though I have been washed clean by the blood of Christ, His death and resurrection, and am now a new creation what if I had the eyes of God to see me in all my sin…I couldn't bear it…my shame would so great…the weight of it all would drown me. This gives me a different perspective of me and what Christ has done. He has lifted that weight of shame and guilt and clothed me with His righteousness and how can I ever take that for granted. This great gift...this great sacrifice...this ultimate act of love was given for this whole messed up world...each one of us and that is the light I must see my brothers and sisters in Christ through. If He has loved me in such a way how can I not love my brother and sister the same.
And so for me reading this passage on the other side of the resurrection, Jesus reminds me, Tina, don't forget where you have come from, don't take for granted the price I have paid, the weight I have bore so that you may be free, realizing that I have paid that same price for your brothers and sisters…"Love each other as I have loved you."