“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Recently, after the storms which ravaged so many people’s property, while clearing up downed trees, my husband literally had a log in his eye. It was a horrible storm with barns in shambles, homes without roofs, and thousands of trees uprooted and broken across the State. We were blessed with only minor damage, but our son had come in from out of town to help with the cleanup of all the trees. As my son headed to the burn pile with broken branches, my husband was using a chainsaw on a tree lying on the ground.
Sawing sections small enough to move, he came upon a vine wrapped up into the downed tree. Unbeknownst to him, the large vine was also wrapped tightly around another nearby tree whose base was dead and partially hollowed out. As his saw cut through the log and vine, the tree 20 feet away, fell with precision accuracy onto his head. The force of the large tree drove him to his knees like a hammer to a nail.
My son returned from burning the branches and discovered him bloodied and discombobulated. Thank goodness the tree had only hit his hard head! He could have been blinded or killed by the force of the tree. My husband asked me to bandage him up so he could return to the work. Talk about being hardheaded! Later, after my son left, I noticed the head was quite swollen and demanded he be checked out at the Emergency Room. Everything was fine and he has enjoyed two black eyes for the last two weeks, along with quite a bit of ribbing from his customers. I have a feeling I was the brunt of most of the joking.
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is preaching to our hard heads and hard hearts about judging others. His words are piercing, reminding us not to judge, and to treat others how we want to be treated. I know, “you are only trying to help”, but when we judge others, we have reached their final conclusion. As a judge we place ourselves in high authority which is only reserved for the Lord.
The Word of God in Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us that our heart is deceitful above all things. Only God can show us what is hidden deep within our secret chambers. We must be careful to ask God to scan our hearts daily for anything which needs to be uprooted.
Before Jesus came into my heart to be Lord of my life, my heart was sick with the disease of sin which leads to death. But I saw myself as a good person, and blind to the wall of sin that separated me from a real relationship with God. In fact, I had two big old logs, one for each eye! I guess we have all been a little hardheaded at one time or another. Truth is we were all born with sin, with only one way to remedy that problem. His name is Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Oh, those early days as a newbie Christian saved by the grace of God. Oblivious to my own immaturity, my zeal for being saved often rubbed people the wrong way. Think wire brush to tissue paper. Blaring Christian music in my car, thinking it was witnessing to workers in the fast-food drive through. Or, handing out information about the dangers of certain holidays, without explaining their origins, probably drove people away from God
This leaves us with a dilemma. Do we stay immature and continue rubbing people the wrong way? Or do we watch lost friends and family remain in their sin threatening this life as well as the life to come? Shouldn’t we be meeting people right where they are? That’s how I met Jesus. A student met me right in the middle of my sin and invited me to meet Jesus! We are supposed to be pointing people to Jesus and not pointing out their flaws. We should not tolerate sin by being silent, but a gentle disposition clothed in love will help them see the real Jesus in your heart.
The Word of God tells us in John 15:1-6, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”
There are only a couple of kinds of branches; those bearing fruit or those thrown into the fire. I have always heard that out of the mouth the heart speaks. Is there a log in the eyes of your heart? Have you given up on someone who needs to meet Jesus, but they are just too lost for Him to save? Jesus did not come to save the righteous, He came to save you and me.
Go ahead, meet them right where they are, He will bless both of you!