Friday, 20 November 2015

Daily Reading: Luke 6v39-42 'Speck Spotting!'

"39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 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? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye’, when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? 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."

One of the results of our being part of a culture that fears judgement and challenges the right to judge is that we as Christians are fearful of helping others deal with their sin because we think we might be seen to be judging them.  But the challenge of Jesus teaching here is that we are sometimes blind to our own faults whilst assuming we see perfectly the faults of others.  Disciples are not fully trained in that we are not exactly like Jesus, we will be imperfect and therefore we must be careful to humbly be examining ourselves rather than simple judging others.

But here is what Jesus is not saying.  Jesus is not saying that we never help other believers deal with the speck in their eye.  Rather he emphasis is on us first examining ourselves and dealing with our sin, the plank, humbly and in repentance and confession before you look at others and seek to help them deal with the sin you see.  Jesus is calling his followers to avoid hypocrisy - critiquing others for faults that go undiscerned, unchallenged and unchanged in us.  The challenge isn't not to help others with sin, rather it is to be dealing with our own sin first.

What does that mean for us?  It helpfully calls us to be examining ourselves.  Do I know where my weaknesses are?  Do I know where I am most sinful?  What am I doing about it?  Am I mourning over my sin, confessing it, repenting of it and changing?  It also calls us to avoid being critical of others, we are not judge them in a negative sense, rather given we are dealing with our own sin, removing the plank, we are then called not to judgement and critique our brothers and sisters but to lovingly help them fight sin in themselves with the same resources we have used - the gospel, grace, prayer, confession, repentance and the joy that comes from sin forgiven and life by the Spirit.

Can you imagine the benefits a church where that was happening regularly would reap?  Can you imagine the fruitfulness and joy that we would experience?  Ask God to help you begin today by repenting of our being quick to critique, and to reveal sin in your life - don't expect it to be anything less than painful.  But thank God that in Christ by the Spirit you have everything you need.

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