There is a reality that you learn pretty quickly when wearing contacts: eyes are sensitive and delicate things.
Just the other day I was putting in my contacts and the moment I put one in it felt like I had put sandpaper in my eye. I immediately took it out, because who wants sandpaper in their eye. As I initially examined it, I didn’t really see any major debris. No pieces of hair or clothing fibers, and yet sandpaper. It’s crazy that things you can’t even see would cause such discomfort and pain – how different this is from how we deal with sin and brokenness in our lives.
In our Scripture for today from Matthew 7, Jesus is continuing to teach about how our identity as a child of God influences how we interact with others. Specifically, he is addressing how we deal with brokenness and sin in our lives and the lives of others, and He uses this reality of the sensitivity of the eye to show how ridiculous our actions often are: we easily notice and point out the junk in the “eye” of others, while completely ignoring the junk we have in our own.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log 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 brother’s eye.” – MATTHEW 7:1-5
Jesus says before you go complaining about others and condemning them for the things they have done wrong, stop and look at yourself. Look first at the truth of YOUR own brokenness and sin and the reality of God’s free gift of forgiveness for YOU. Now see the other person and his or her brokenness through this lens, as a sinner, just like you, for whom Jesus died. Don’t tell them how wrong they are so you can feel better about yourself, or appear better. But go to them with a heart of compassion that knows how horrible it is to have something in your “eye” and longs for restoration for that person.
What if you and I actually responded to the failures and faults of others in this way? What if we chose to respond from a place of compassion rather than condemnation? You might be amazed at the transformation Jesus brings not only to other, but to you.
As you consider this passage this week, think through these questions:
1. What things keep us from seeing or admitting the junk in our own “eye”?
2. Who are the people you struggle to act in love toward because of their brokenness and sin?
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