Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Motes and Beams

"Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye." Luke 6:42

It's funny how we often look at others and see faults in them. As humans we love to compare ourselves to others, either to our benefit our to our detriment. We seldom seem content to look for God's acceptance and quit worrying about how we measure up to others.

It struck me as I was reading this verse that if we would focus on our own faults and sins and not focus on what others are lacking we will end up seeing them in a whole different light. As we work to remove our "beam," which would obviously create some impediment to our vision, I think that we'll often find that the "mote" we thought we saw in someone else was, in reality, just a shadow of our own beam. We tend to project our own faults, insecurities, sins and shortcomings on others because it's easier to look at it in someone else and judge them as lacking because of it, than it is for us to take an honest look at ourselves and realize that we are just as lacking. The human tendency is to take the easier route, and it's far easier to judge others than it is to change ourselves.

In the end, though, we stand alone at judgment before God. We won't be able to whine to Him and say "but so-and-so did it too" or "at least I didn't do what she did." God doesn't accept excuses and He doesn't compare us with someone else.

We need to turn to Him for mercy and grace to overcome our "beams." The wonderful thing is, that He is always there, with His arm outstretched, waiting for us to reach up and take His hand. He will give us strength and power that we could never have on our own. He can take away the obstacles that cloud our vision and help us see others the way He sees them. And if we can do this, we won't be so worried about what others have or haven't done. We'll just love them and want to help them. As we do, we'll find that we're becoming more like our Savior. He didn't focus on motes or beams in others. He focused on the possibilities and potential, and so should we.


Mama D said...

I love your insights! I always learn from you.

My favorite phrase: "the "mote" we thought we saw in someone else was, in reality, just a shadow of our own beam."

We all have possibilities and potential. Thanks for the reminder to focus on my beams before criticizing others for their motes.

Papa D said...

I must be related to your first commenter. The phrase that jumped out at me is the same one she noticed.

I have dealt with this sometimes in the way others interact with me - assuming I see things the same way they do or judging my words or actions based on pre-concieved notions - and I agree that it's harder for me to step back and analyze whether or not I am doing that to others as I complain about them doing it to me.

chelle said...

Ditto for me. I always love reading your insights.
I can usually get past others issues. I struggle with the projection of my own shortcomings/fears and in assuming everyone else thinks the same things about me. I never feel as good as the next person.
Good things to think about. Thank goodness He IS always there. :)