There’s Something In My Eye

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For the judgment you give will be the judgment
you get, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in
your neighbor’s eye but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your
neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You
hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck
out of your neighbor’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5 (NRSV)

As many of you would probably guess, Minister Billie Dreher and I talk almost every day. This
will sometimes include venting our frustrations about various things from the dogs making a
mess to the standard drama of church life. As our working relationship has grown, we have
learned to be open, honest, and sometimes direct with each other. This morning, we were
chatting, and I was venting a bit about an issue that had been bothering me, and Billie stopped
me and said (in her perfect, loving, but admonishing teacher voice), “I think we need to take a
minute and examine the log in our eyes.” At first, naturally, I thought, “This isn’t my problem,
it’s theirs!” But before I even started to say the words, I realized that, as usual, she was exactly
right. I had jumped to conclusions and judged someone else for doing exactly what I would
have done in the same situation.

It has been a long time since I have thought about Matthew 7:1-5, but it applied perfectly to the
situation. It is always amazing how we can turn to the Bible, find instructions that Jesus gave to
his Disciples two thousand years ago, and find that we need to hear those same instructions
today. I know that I can be short-tempered. It is something I have struggled with for most of my
adult life. And I know that I can be quick to react and judge someone else’s actions. So often, I
don’t realize that if I were in the same situation, I would do the same thing. In fact, I would
probably do something worse than they did. It is hard to imagine a log in my eyes, but it is a
great analogy – something so big and obtrusive that we can’t even properly see what we are
looking at and probably complaining about. This is something I am guilty of every single day,
and I would imagine I am not alone. “How can the people working the drive-thru mistakenly
give me a regular Dr. Pepper when I specifically ordered Diet? Don’t they know I’m diabetic?”
Of course not, Logan. They have no idea. And how many times did you mess up someone’s
drink order in the seven years you spent as a server? “Why is that car coming into my lane?
Someone needs to teach them how to drive!” Then two minutes later, I swerve to miss an
obstacle in the road that there is no way someone in another lane could see. These are just
examples from this week, and it is only Tuesday! And so, as I often do, I will ask God for
guidance to help me do better. If you feel like you need it as well, feel free to pray along with
me, then let’s go wash our eyes out.

Holy God, once again, I come to you knowing that I have fallen short. You knew that I needed
to be reminded of this well-known verse, and I thank you for sending your servant to give me
that gentle reminder. I ask that you teach me how to do better, how to be less eager to judge
others for making the same mistakes that I make every day. I ask you to remind me daily, or
even hourly, that we’re all just people; we all have our own shortcomings; and we are all only
saved from judgment by your grace and mercy. Thank you, Lord, for that grace and mercy,
which was personified in your son, Jesus, who you sent to show us the way. Amen.

In Christ’s Love,
Minister Logan J. Smith