Gleanings – My Bat and Your Toothpick

Matthew 7:1-12

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that in your own eye?”

One must navigate this passage with great care. When a pastor commends its central truth, he may have become the passage’s foil, the man with a log. Just the same a pastor cannot shrink back from preaching what is the mind of Christ.

It goes without saying that there are a lot of judgmental people in the church. This should be a surprise to no one as there are a lot of judgmental people in the world. We are probably all reconciled to this reality with only moderate hope that sanctification will eliminate the problem worldwide. What is difficult to bear are those who make judgments and have no capacity for self-examination. We can hear criticism even judgment, as painful as it is, from those we trust are keenly aware of their own shortcomings and routinely lays them before the Lord for healing and transformation. But we resist those who are clueless.

And the clueless abound. A man once suggested to me I was not filled with the Holy Spirit because I did not speak in tongues. And yet the universal assessment of this man was that he cared not a whit for the poor and often had contempt for anyone inferior to him in class and intellect. Now from a biblical point of view which situation would suggest a greater absence of the Holy Spirit?

Socrates once said “the unexamined life is not worth living.” This man is in obvious need of self-examination. But am I any less? When I am strong in the Lord, I can receive what he says, love and him and pray about what truth might be in that statement. Perhaps I am not void of the Holy Spirit and yet spiritually dry. Perhaps some solitude would lead to a season of renewal.

In the end seeing a tiny imperfection in another is not forbidden. But it yields little fruit if we do not recognize the same or worse is ourselves.

One Response to “Gleanings – My Bat and Your Toothpick”

  • Richard Says:

    Perhaps the owner of the speck and the log should both be taught to spend more time at the eye doctor, aka Jesus.

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