"...a log in your own eye..."
"How dare you say to your brother, 'Please, let me take that speck out of your eye,' when you have a 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. (Matthew 7:4-6)
Anyone who wears some sort of corrective lenses for eyesight knows how annoying it is to have to move around without your glasses or contacts. Everything is distorted and sometimes difficult to manage. (Ever try trimming your fingernails without your glasses if you're far-sighted?) To see clearly is especially important in many circumstances. For example, imagine trying to climb the stairs on the left side of the building in the photo if your vision was as distorted as the photo? Yet often times we push forward with the distorted "sight" (yes I've tried the finger-nail cutting without my glasses - ouch!) only to stumble into more hurt for ourselves and others.
As dangerous as it might be to attempt to drive a car without your needed corrective lenses, at least if you do you're aware of the fuzziness and are probably trying to be a bit more careful not to hurt anyone. I believe Jesus was pointing us toward an even more egregious form of "distortion" when he admonished folks to, "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." The most dangerous distortion is the fuzziness that we're not aware of. I've spent enough time around folks who were intoxicated by alcohol to know that the more intoxicated they became and their reflexes impaired, the more certain they were about their ability to drive safely.
Likewise, I've seen some folks so unaware of their own "fuzziness" from the log in their eye that they act and react with a self-certainty that teeters on the line of self-righteousness. Unfortunately we can bulldoze others before we ever stop to realize that we might not be seeing as clearly as we believed before we started. I hear so many self-righteous sounding pronouncements about others. God is the only one whose vision is always perfectly clear. Why do we act as though we can see just as clearly?
It would take volumes to answer the question I just posed. Suffice it to say for now that knowing our "vision" is always somewhat clouded by many different things should give us pause to be more humble and respectful as well as call us to greater self-reflection and repentance. The path of wisdom may be paved by some of the gravel from the pulverized rocks of self-righteousness upon which we once stood and "pronounced." I pray that God will keep me aware of the dangers of "blurred vision" and call me to accountability. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia
PS... I know someone will ask me about this week's photo, so here's the secret. It's the inverted reflection of a local restaurant in a small adjacent pond.
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"...a log in your own eye..."