Jun 5, 2014

The Plank and the Speck

Why can’t I tolerate weakness in others for areas I’ve conquered, but yet so easily empathize with people who have the same struggles?

Today, I eat a gluten-free diet. Giving up my bread was painful. I always loved bread – I’d pick a restaurant by the quality of their bread. When I binged, a whole loaf of French bread gobbed with butter was my poison.

And yet I have been able to sustain a gluten-free diet for 5 months…and don’t plan to go back. I’ve never waivered, cheated only once or twice (and paid for it!), and find the trade of gluten for better health to be well worth it.

I just can’t understand why people with health struggles, especially where gluten-free is proven to help, can’t seem to give up their bread and cereal. They’d rather hurt. Seems so senseless and stubborn.

Of course, I’m not either of those…unless it comes to my schedule; specifically, finding time to write and exercise. I feel for anyone with schedule issues. This is the first blog post I’ve written in well over a month. I’ve just been so busy, and haven’t had time.

Correction: haven’t made time. I could have, just didn’t. Um, yes, rather senseless and stubborn. The verse about the plank and the speck came to mind.

“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.”  (Matthew 7:1-5, The Message, emphasis mine)

Sometimes looking at a familiar scripture in a new way – with a different analogy – really helps bring God’s point home. Here I thought I was so helpful to others, and all the while they were repelled by “the look” I couldn't hide. What’s worse, looking at what they're not doing (aka, what I can't do anything about), diverted me from looking at and doing what I need to do (aka, what's within my power to change). 

No wonder I am so frustrated: I’m a weak and stubborn mess myself!

Thank you, Lord, for bringing your conviction, and for showing me the need to clean myself up; aka, get that plank out of my way. 

By your grace, I will!

TODAY'S CHALLENGE: What plank do you need God's help with today? And who have you sneered at along the way?

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