The Log

” . . . the log in your own eye?”
 
“Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but pay no attention to the log in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Please, brother, let me take that speck out of your eye,’ yet cannot even see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  (Luke 6:41-42)

Sorry for the size and quality of the picture.  This was a bumper sticker on the vehicle in front of me earlier this week and I just couldn’t help myself.  I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing so I snapped a quick photo with my cell phone as we sat at a red traffic light.
Am I crazy?  Did someone really print this bumper sticker and miss the grammatical error, or is that supposed to be part of a joke?  From the other bumper stickers on the vehicle I certainly don’t think the owner of the vehicle meant it as some sort of joke.  Let me see if I get this straight – it’s a bumper sticker accusing others of stupidity with the wrong word in the sticker?  “There” should be “their!”
If it is meant to be a joke, I don’t like it, because I’ve known too many folks who would espouse this very sentiment.  I tend to believe it points once more to the power of anger, hate, and judgment to literally blind us at times.  It also points to the egocentric nature of anger, hate, and judgment.  In other words, it shows how anger, hate, and judgment tend to spew forth when we see the world as existing for the almighty me.  Everything is for me and about me so others should pay attention and quit getting in my way.  When others don’t get it, I have the right to spew anger, hate, and judgment, often blindly.  Maybe I have the cart before the horse.  Maybe it’s not the anger, hate, and judgement that cause the blindness.  Maybe it’s the egocentrism that causes the blindness that then results in the spewing of anger, hate, and judgment.

When Jesus calls the dilemma to our attention in the story from the Gospel of Luke, he calls us first to self-examination to avoid hypocrisy by judging others.  It would seem to me that the call to self-examination is not simply to take note of sinful actions and repent, but also to take note of our sinful, egocentric self-perception and repent.  It is a huge, radical step for us to move from a “me” existence to a “we” existence, but it’s a necessary step of Christian discipleship.  If we stay in the “we” I think we’re far less likely to be blinded by anger, hate, and judgment.

I pray that God will help me stay in the “we.”  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,

Gary

Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24

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~ by revgenelson on September 7, 2016.

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