27TH FEBRUARY 2022
THE LOG IN YOUR EYE
1 CORINTHIANS 15:54:58
If you find someone doing what is not right, will keep you silent and mind your own business? What is it that will make you keep silent? Should we reveal people who engage in vices? Naturally and morally you may feel that you have an obligation to expose such people. If you feel that you have to tell on people who engage in vices, then think deeply and seriously about the words of Jesus today's Gospel reading.
Jesus says in today's Gospel reading, “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". A speck is a very small mark, spot, or piece of something and a log is a thick piece of wood cut from a tree. In other words, it is as if Jesus is saying, “Why do you see the small mark that is in your brother's eye but do not notice the thick piece of wood that is your own eye?"
Jesus is envisioning a life in the community shaped by God's kingdom and justice and marked by self-awareness, humble and compassionate correction of the other rather than by condemnation. In short, Jesus is telling us, “Do not judge". As everyone knows, we make judgements daily despite the disclaimer, "It is not for me to judge or "to each to their own." We would be in deep trouble and in frequent danger if we did not make discernment about people, situations and actions. Imagine you are with a friend who always misbehaves and you have never warned him or her to change and one day when you are together the police arrest the two of you because your friend has misbehaved, won’t you wish that you had warned him or her? Being told not to judge appears impossible. Why should I keep silent when I know that a person, a situation or an action is not good?
Jesus is not telling us to keep silent. He only says, "You hypocrite first take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye." If you denounce an alcoholic, are you aware that you cheat? If you denounce someone who gossips, are you aware that you are lazy? If you denounce someone who is corrupt ,are you aware that you are proud?
In the face of such an experience, the words of Jesus may seem to perpetuate a sense of being out of touch with everyday life and very remote from daily living.
Much of the Bible trains people to make judgements or discernment about how they live in relation to God's purposes. In fact, Jesus himself judged synagogue practices and lives focused only on material goods.
Today's Gospel reading teaches us that before you judge someone in a way that seems to totally condemn them as unworthy of God's grace and not capable of goodness, then whatever you are judging in them should be like a mirror showing you the truth about your own bad or negative actions. For example, when someone steals it should be a mirror to you that may be you cheat.
It is not our work to write others off as beyond redemption and outside God's grace. When I remove the log from my eyes, I will be able to see well so as to correct the other person thus avoiding falling into the pit together and that is why Jesus says, “Can a blind man lead a blind man?
Will they not both fall into a pit?"
Before you judge, the Word of God is calling and reminding you to first of all see that you may also be wrong, so deal first with your heart and actions. No one is exempt from a serious soul searching due to the fact that the log in your eye is bigger than the speck that you see in another person's eye.