This is a strong piece. I was thrilled to receive this word from our Lord and I am equally thrilled to share it. As I stated earlier, my main goal is to follow the Lord's command to not judge. I know that anytime I'm judging, I'm intruding on God's work and causing the Holy Spirit to have less power while I, arrogantly, attempt to prove my point and make my case for salvation. How distasteful this is. I want to be free of my logs so that I can be an assistant in the Lord's work and, consequently, bring more to Christ.
It's Not a Dog Eat Dog World...
It's a Log Meet Log World
Jack Nicholson's character in the movie, A Few Good Men says, "You can't handle the truth." Sometimes I wonder if maybe we do have a problem with "the truth," as Jesus shares it with us in the Bible.
Matthew 7:1 Don't condemn others, and God won't condemn you.
7:2 God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them.
7:3 You can see the speck in your friend's eye, but you don't notice the log in your own eye.
7:4 How can you say, "My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye," when you don't see the log in your own eye?
7:5 You're nothing but show-offs! First, take the log out of your own eye. Then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend's eye.
We are not to condemn others in order to avoid God's condemnation of us. How does God condemn us? He may have others be critical of us or even downright nasty. Criticizing is a form of condemnation. In Matthew 7:3, Jesus tells us how easy it is for us to see the faults of others (which He calls "specks or splinters in their eyes"), while ignoring our own faults (which He calls "logs in our eyes").
Please note the use of "speck" and "log." Obviously Jesus is not speaking of our physical eyes but He is addressing how we see, or our point of view. The "log" is judgment, our self-righteous negative evaluation of others. Let's look closer at what Jesus is saying with regard to specks and logs in our eyes.
A log in the eye is a very big fault and a speck in the eye is a little fault. Who has the log in his eye in this parable? Is it the other person or us? The answer is it is we who have the log (or the big fault) in us.
Now, how do we remove big faults (logs) from our own point of view so that we can be helpful in removing specks from other people? Who is our help in every need? God. First, however we must become aware that we have the biggest faults in ourselves. This is the truth that we have a hard time understanding. With God's help, we can recognize our perceptual faults and they can be removed. But we have to want them to be removed. Who removes our faults? God. When does He do it? When we request it of Him, at the time we recognize we have them. We recognize we have them when we humbly allow God to reveal them to us.
Often we can't see the river for the log jam. That is, we have denied our responsibility to face the errors in ourselves. Instead we are hell-bent to find faults in everyone else on this planet AND correct them. Jesus says, when we do this, we are nothing but "show-offs" or hypocrites. In some sort of righteous act, we think we will "correct" everyone and make the world more fit for us to live in. What arrogance! Unfortunately, this world won't be a perfect world as long as any of us humans are running it.
God has requested that we do unto others as we would have others do unto us. In Matthew 7:2, Jesus said God will do to us what we are doing to others. Do we want to be criticized for everything we do? If the answer is a resounding "No" then we must stop criticizing others (even in our hearts). When we trust God to be God and handle all errors His way, we will be healed ourselves. Others will then either stop criticizing us or their criticizing will no longer take us out of God's peace. Either way, we will have successfully removed the log from our own eye and, in doing so, the speck in our brother's eye will no longer be an area of concern for us.
Who knows our hearts inside and out? God. Who softens hearts to make them ready for accepting Christ? God. Who knows how to bring everyone we need in our lives to us with absolutely no errors? God. Suppose we are constantly in pain and suffering because of the people God purposefully brought into our lives to work us into His image? Should we blame God or praise Him?
We praise Him because the people He brought into our lives are showing us the logs in our eyes (or our perceptual illnesses). How wonderful of God to set it up this way! He makes each of us only accountable for our own healing in Christ (or removal of our own logs). All the while, He shows us what is in us that needs His healing using the irritating faults (specks) we see in our brothers. Again, should we blame God or praise Him?
As our logs are removed and our clear vision restored, we will discover the faults we perceive in others are not really in them, but in us. This is why Jesus told us not to judge by appearances because appearances may be the opposite of the truth. We are never set free by believing in appearances, but only set free by knowing the truth, as Jesus said. Would our loving God set up the world in such a way that we can never succeed in having His peace? If we are responsible for everyone else on this planet, then peace is impossible to achieve. If, however, our responsibility only includes what God can heal in us, then peace is possible.
By asking for and receiving God's healing of our perceptual flaws, our trust in Him grows. We see His mighty miracles flowing into our lives and with it, lots of love and joy and peace which can be shared.
We become free from our logs once we understand their nature and take personal responsibility for them. Then, asking for God's healing, we will find an increased joy that will draw needy souls to Christ. Only then will God lead people who are ready to receive Christ as their Savior into our lives and they will respond with little effort on our part. He brings them to us when we are ready and no sooner. We wouldn't wish it any other way, lest we offend a searching soul.
Some people, whose eyes are practically blind with logs, may go out on the hunt to find people to give their lives to Christ. Those fragile new converts are then slowly injured because they then undergo "splinter picking" by someone who meant well, but had a log in their eye. The more logs there are in our eyes, the more resistance we will have from the people we meet. God's Kingdom has a greater chance of being filled when the logs are removed from our eyes and the joy of the Lord is allowed to permeate our world.
So, in this log meet log world, let's not be constantly grabbing at each other's protruding logs and splinters and specks in a vain attempt to be "God" to people. Only God is the great healer and we are only responsible for our own faults which are revealed through His children whom He brings to us.
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