Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Sliver and the Mote...One and the Same

Have you found it interesting that both a sliver and log are made of the same material? Of course. How obvious. And when Jesus commanded that we remove the plank from our own eye, it is probably the same offense that got under our skin to begin with.

Perhaps someone you know monopolizes conversations or one-ups everyone elses' story or manipulates others. Knowing myself the way I do, the things that bother me are the very things I'm guilty of. Ugh. How did Jesus know?

So in daily life, as I consider the ways others have sinned against or offended or hurt or failed to prefer me, Jesus calls me to sit down alone, look into the mirror of God's Word and examine my own tendencies. It's just that simple. It's just that hard.

From the side of resolved conflict, let me testify that the joy of shared conviction is greater than the shame, greater than the shadow of neglect, sweeter than simply "getting along." For Jesus' sake, let's get it right and love one another--as He has loved us.

" 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

“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector." Matthew 18:15-17

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.  By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?  And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. 1 John 4:7-21



  1. I remember staring at that piece at camp for a long time the first time I saw it; it really packs a punch.

    "Knowing myself the way I do, the things that bother me are the very things I'm guilty of. Ugh."

    Ditto. Especially on the "ugh" part...

    Admittedly, I've never been good at conflict resolution; I'm more of a hider. But I'm getting better, and I know that the Bible studies you've led have helped with that, especially when we learned about Matthew 18. So I like to think my eyes are becoming less woody--and you have been a great help to me in that, Sydney! :D

  2. Thank you, Michelle! It is such an encouragement to walk alongside one another and watch God change us. I praise God for you--and the privilege of knowing you on this side of eternity. You are a blessing to me.


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