Scripture: Matthew 7:1-12
Key verse: (5) “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.”
Reflection: Today’s passage comes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Here Jesus offers guidance for faithful living, loving God and loving our neighbors. It sounds so simple but we realize it’s a lifelong journey of growth with cycles of failure and confession and new opportunities.
What logs are in your eyes that keep you from seeing your neighbor clearly? I can imagine quite a few logs that obstruct my clear vision. Logs like self-righteousness, racism, pride, fear, and disdain. All of those logs keep me from seeing my neighbor clearly and make it impossible for me to offer myself in love to them.
The best spiritual surgeons, who have carefully removed specks from my eyes, have been the neighbors who have dealt with their own logs. They have survived struggle. They have wrestled with their own demons. They have committed to the path of wholeness. They have uncovered their own wounds and allowed someone to care for them. They aren’t perfect people but they are clear-eyed about their own journey and are able to be clear-eyed with me. They have a gentleness that comes from knowing pain. They have a wisdom that comes from navigating hardship. They have a courage that comes from the deep hope that there is healing and new life ahead.
Prayer: Gracious God, show me my own logs. Show me what prevents me from seeing my neighbors as your children. Show me the ways my love falls short of your ideal. Heal me. Give me gentleness, wisdom and courage to live out your love in my world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].