Apr 28, 2021
How Is It Always Speck in Your Eye, Log in Mine?
I’ve struggled with judging people my whole life. And I know it’s wrong.
But I also know that there are lots of other wrong things too. And people are doing those things. So I judge them.
For example, one day I was going for a walk with a friend, and they were complaining constantly about this and that. And I was judging, judging, judging. And then suddenly, they stopped talking, turned to me, and said, “Do you know what I like about you, Rob? You don’t judge people.” I was kind of stunned. All I could say was, “Thanks.”
And then a couple days later another friend asked me, “Rob, what do you struggle with most?” And so I brought it out in the open. “I judge people.” And then he went into this long tirade about how terrible it was to judge people. And so I decided that was the last time I’d tell anyone about this. Years later I realized that I had immediately judged him as well.
But I still knew judging is wrong. And that other things are wrong. And people are doing those other things. I didn’t know how to fit these together, and so I just lived in a dark world, looking down on everyone for their wrongs, and feeling bad about myself for doing so.
And then about two years ago I was reading chapter six of Luke’s story where Jesus is saying I’m not supposed to judge. Instead, I’m supposed to deal with the log in my own eye and then I can help my brother with the speck in his eye. This story had always confused me. How could Jesus tell a group of people that they had logs in their eyes while the person next to them merely had a speck in their eye?
But this time the story suddenly made sense. Specks and logs are made of the same stuff! Whatever issue I think I see in someone else’s life, is actually in my life to some degree. The big difference is that, as far as concerns me, the issue in someone else’s life is merely between me and them, but the issue in my life is between me and God. An issue between me and God definitely deserves far more attention to the extent of the difference between the size of a log and a speck of sawdust. And so noticing a speck in my brother’s eye should primarily serve as an alert to find the log in my own eye.
Judging stops. I see a speck in someone’s eye and feel the urge to judge them. And then if I ask God to show me the log in my eye of a similar nature, he brings it to my mind right away. I am humbled and any desire to judge dissolves into thin air. With that insight into my own soul, I am powerfully compelled to plead for mercy and grace for both myself and the other person.
But Luke's story doesn’t stop here. Having been humbled, we're ready for what’s next. Jesus takes us away from judging and condemning into forgiving and giving. I don’t simply stop using other people’s sins as reasons to look down on them and push them away. I am challenged to take the next step of not holding people’s sins against them, and giving them the benefit of the doubt, giving them credit for all the good that God has placed in them, giving them more than they deserve, and giving them another chance, being willing to risk being hurt in order to follow Jesus’ example of love.
And this is scary new territory for me. If I survive, I’ll let you know how it turns out. Or email me what you’ve discovered and I’ll use that in a sequel to this blog.
Thunder Bay Area Manager