Thursday, June 11, 2009

Plank Eye

Why do we do what we do? Have you ever looked at the choices you have made and asked yourself, “What was I thinking?” The fact is circumstances occur all around us everyday and we have to decide how we will react to them. In short, we all have choices to make…what to wear, what to eat, where to go… you get the point. However some decisions are not as simple as others. Let’s take a look at just a few we need to really be careful in making.

1) Who (or what) will we serve? Ask yourself what is your primary focus in your life. Is it money, pleasure….God? Luke 16:13 tells us that, “No one can serve two masters... you cannot serve God and man.”
2) What friends will we hang out with? Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Here is a statement that I hear all the time… “Well, they just got involved with the wrong crowd…” My response always is… Who chose to be with the “wrong crowd”?
3) What (activities) will we do? Everything we do has consequences – not only do they affect the present, but they also affect the future and everyone around us. Like it or not, we will always have to answer for what we do. Ecclesiastes 11:9 tells us, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.”

As you can see, we all have choices to make. However, most of us don’t want to take any responsibility for any of them or even deal with them. A lot of times, we try to justify what we did, push them under the “rug”, or even, and this is what Jesus chastised us for, try to put the attention or blame on someone else. When I was young and broke something in the house, I would tell on my little brother for something he did. To, hopefully, get mom’s attention on him instead on my issue. Let’s take a look at what Christ had to say about that in the book of Matthew.

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5 (NKJV)

Now check it out in the Message translation…

“Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”

Most of the time, we can’t deal with our own problems because we are too busy judging others for theirs. God wants us to deal with our own so we can get to work fulfilling the “Great Commission” and helping others. Look at what Jesus said in verse five. “First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” We must remove it, deal with it, then maybe we can help someone else!

God wants to use everyone one of us. The fact is, he has a plan for each of us in His perfect will. But the “Choice” is ours. Do we allow Christ to become the center of our lives? Or do we keep doing the things we are doing and hope God doesn’t notice as we push them under the “rug”? Whatever you may be dealing with because of choices that were made, God can help.

Don’t walk around as a “plank eye”. Remove the issue and then you will be able to help others for Christ!

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