4 Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
My Mom would say, “Mom and Jesus love you.” Jesus, and by extension Mom, did not put provisos or quid pro quos on love. Qualifiers on love would mean examining others to determine their worth. Matthew’s writings are emphasizing that pointing out flaws and shortfalls in others and disregarding our own, is not how we should behave as a follower of Christ. Just as Jesus loves us for who we are and what we do, so we should love our neighbors.
This past year has been difficult for all of us. As I consider this reflection, I know I have made mistakes. I have been critical when I should have been understanding of others. By nature, I am a cynical person; examining situations and people looking for what could go wrong. That has evolved into a negative outlook on life. I have said, “I will try to be better” but the reality is there is no “try”, only “do”. Thinking about making change, considering different actions is not enough.
For me, Lent is the call to see clearly, so that I may be a better person and a better Christian. I am thankful for the support of friends and family. I am grateful for the opportunity to look into the mirror and see the log. And I know Mom and Jesus love you all as well.
Dear Lord, grant us the courage to admit we are flawed and the strength to take action to improve ourselves before we concern ourselves with the shortcomings in others. Guide us so our actions as your follower match our words. In your name we pray, Amen.