January 28, 2012 – Devotion Sharing (Luke 6)

Submitted by Vanessa O. from Gracepoint Berkeley Church

–  a truth, wisdom or lesson I need to affirm or apply?

One lesson I need to learn again and again that stood out as I read this weeks passages was the lesson of not judging.  I often find myself getting frustrated at people and feeling annoyed because certain things don’t get done a certain way or don’t turn out the way I would like them to. I find that I am very quick to notice when someone has some fault but I am blind to see my own faults.   But what right do I have to do this when even I am equally frustrating and annoying to others? As Luke 6 says:

How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Too often I fail to see my own sinfulness, fail to see how irritable, demanding, unloving, careless and wicked I can be towards others. Yet when I see it in someone else, I can quickly identify it and want to quickly condemn and pass judgment.  In reading this passage again and again, I saw just how wicked and dark my heart is and how arrogant I am in thinking that I can possibly be ‘better’ than someone else. I saw how I am no better than Simon the Pharisee whom Jesus corrected when the woman with the expensive perfume came and poured it on his feet, yet Simon only noticed that this woman was a ‘sinner’.

I saw how I am in no position to judge others if I myself am someone who has that speck in my eye.  I learned that before I pass judgment on someone else about something I notice, I first need to take a hard look t my own life and take a hard look at what is going on in my heart. If I am unloving and selfish, then I first need to correct what is wrong in my own life. If I fail to do this, then all I really am is a hypocrite before God’s eyes.

This point was highlighted during last week’s prayer meeting where we were really challenged to see ourselves correctly in light of what Jesus has done for us on the cross. In light of the cross, I really have nothing to complain about or even have the right to point something out about someone else because God put up with me with far more. It was for a sinner like me, that Jesus went to the cross and died. Jesus freely gave up his life so that I would be forgiven- all because he loved me.  And this is the point that I need to take with me again and again.

Instead of focusing of other’s faults and shortcomings, I need to learn to love. Love in the way that Jesus loved by dying to my own preferences, notions of how things should be and seeing others with compassionate eyes, just as Jesus saw the widow when he learned her only son had died.

So in my day to day life, what Jesus is asking me to do is simply to love others. Love others in the way Jesus would love them and humbly acknowledge that it really is through God’s grace and mercy that I am where I am. That is was through God’s grace and mercy that I was brought out of the dark and destructive life I was headed towards and it was He who looked at me with the eyes of love and not condemnation or judgment as I rightfully deserved.  But I am thankful that God is a God of many chances and when I do fail, I need to come back to Him, confess and repent. I am thankful that God bears with me and forgives me time and time again.

PERSONAL PRAYER

Lord, thank you for opening my eyes once again to the blindness of my own sinfulness.  I confess this is an ongoing struggle for me and need your grace and mercy daily to re-direct my life to a life of love, a life where I live for others. Please forgive me for constantly zeroing in on others faults and shortcomings, even though I have plenty to work on. Lord, please help me to daily see others with the eyes of compassion and not judging or condemning. Help me to daily live a life worthy of your name focusing on building my brothers and sisters and building your kingdom.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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