Monday, January 21, 2008

specks and planks

Luke 6:42
How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

If we're all to fully remove our own planks first, when is there room for admonishment? My eyes will never be clear, perhaps most especially regarding the sins I can see in others. How do YOU balance this?

I mean, you could quote Matthew 7:1, OR you could cite Hebrews 10:24. Or maybe you've thought of another solution. Whaddaya gonna do?

I recently found myself trying to encourage another, only to see that I needed that same encouragement in the same direction. But isn't that sometimes the point, for those who are willing to see it? When we speak truth to those around us, it's bound eventually to seep from our minds and mouths to our own hearts, isn't it? If I hadn't seen a sin, a fault, a weakness in my friend and spelled it out for their ears, I might never have thought it through enough to see that I too was guilty... and having already processed through it, be better equipped to deal with it myself.

Still, it's awful saying, "I know you and this sin well enough to see that you too are caught in it. Will you let me fight along with you against it?" Both parties would need such humility that it seems hopeless. "You don't know me. And you're no better; who are you to challenge me?" "I can't see her heart. I don't want her to be hurt that I'd think something ill of her if it's not even true." Perfectly natural reactions... both full of pride.

I'm being confronted often by the topic of community. Of humility and openness among fellow believers, allowing them to see and point out your sin because of their love for you. Of building relationships where it is understood that "I want you to help me see what I'm blind to in my life and I will listen, even if my pride is insulted." I guess it's something I've been butting heads with for a very long time, but it's in a new chapter for me now, and it's thrilling.

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