I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic. It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together. We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
This week's theme topic is HYPOCRISY.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 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? 4 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? 5 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: 1-5
Ouch. That log hurts. Last week, the theme was topic was LET'S GET REAL, and we all wrote about how we don't have to be perfect, and we can be our real selves. However, for that to really work, the people we are real around need to be forgiving and accepting and vice versa. If people are real around us, we need to be nonjudgmental. Now, I don't mean to take an "anything goes" attitude. Sometimes, people need to see and accept sin in their lives and deal with it, but that's God's job. He is the one who needs to deal with it. We are the ones who need to love God and others and deal with our own sin.
Why is this hard? I'm pretty sure it's hard because we are insecure. It's easier to judge others than judge ourselves. If we can tear others down, then we don't have to take that darn log out of our eye. It's big, heavy, and burdensome. It hurts.
I'm pretty convinced God wants us to stop trying to be perfect - the log will always be there in some form or another. Sometimes it's an oak tree and sometimes it's a willow branch, but it's always there. And your brother will always have one, too. What God needs us to do is to look to Him for correction, forgiveness, grace, and love for ourselves, and then be more able to extend those actions to others. Instead, we often don't even extend correction - we just talk about correcting people behind their backs and leave out forgiveness, grace, and love altogether. Ugh. "For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you." Yikes.
Prayer: God, help us extend grace to others so that we can be real with each other. We know this doesn't mean that everything we do is okay; it means that we can be honest so that we can deal with our sin. And by dealing with our sin, we know that means to ask for forgiveness and grace and turn away from it. We cannot help others do that if we don't face it ourselves first. And we won't ever be perfect, and we know we will fail again and again, so help us be more gracious. After all, instead of judgment, you gave up your life for us. That is amazing grace.