Thursday, March 15, 2012

Be Care About Speck Obsession!

I was humbled this a most unexpected way. I was in Charleston visiting with Joel and Patty Jones, very dear friends for over three decades. Patty has been battling lung cancer for two and half years, and has responded to a number of chemo therapies. She has been in a trial for a new drug that her doctor thought held promise, and I went down to be with her and Joel as they would get a report about whether or not the new chemo was working. They got good news that her cancer was stable and not spreading. This meant she could continue immediately with another round of chemo.

While waiting with Joel for Patty to get situated with an IV, I decided that a little humor would be in order. I noticed Joel was wearing a pair of sandals and socks and I commented that I thought that footwear was only appropriate for grandfathers. He smirked and said it didn't bother him, and that was that...until we went back to keep Patty company as she received an hour and a half of chemo.

As I sat down in the well-lit alcove with Joel and Patty, I looked at my feet, and noticed something I had not noticed all shoes! Here is what I saw:
I knew I should have replaced that burnt out light bulb in my bedroom! Yes, I showed them to Joel and Patty, and yes we had a good laugh (as did her sister later when we told her; and my church Wednesday night at Prayer Meeting when I told them!). In an instant I was reminded of Matthew 7:1-5: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

Thankfully, my object lesson was relatively painless, but it did remind me of how often I'm tempted to criticize someone prematurely without considering my part in whatever issue is at stake. To be a little more pointed let me remind you to pause before criticizing anyone in a particular situation.

In that pause, consider your words. THINK!!! Is what you are about to say:
God-INSPIRED? (Would He approve?)

We are all flawed. I'm not saying (and I don't think the Bible is saying) to never comment on another person's failings. I am saying to pray for the wisdom to be "redemptive" in your comments in such a way that the person realizes you are speaking with a sincere desire to help them have a better life. We need to SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE (Ephesians 4:15) with a sincere commitment to be part of their journey of change (if, in fact, they are the ones (and not us!) needing to change!).

It is so easy to become obsessive about specks in the eyes of others while being totally unaware of our own "plank blindness!" Better tend to your plank first, before you go hunting for eye specks in others, while being totally oblivious to the unmatched shoes you are wearing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I want it known that the photo of socks and sandals that you show above are not mine. My socks and sandals are much cooler. Joel