To simply gaze on the sins of others is vain and empty and wrong. It turns us into judgmental Pharisees who are quick to condemn. But once we are cleansed and humbled by the Lord, then we are ready to remove the tiny speck from a brother’s eye. And he will be glad for us to do it because he knows we are not there to condemn but to help.
The eye is very sensitive. I know all about that because I’ve had surgical procedures on my eyes several times in the last few years. It takes a compassionate hand and a delicate touch to do surgery in the eye. When you have eye trouble, you need a doctor who knows what he is doing because even the slightest mistake can have catastrophic consequences. Sometimes in our haste to help others, we can cause more damage than the original speck of dirt caused.
There is a difference between someone who loves you and wants to help you and someone who puts you under a microscope only to find fault with all you do. I have found that those most critical of others tend to have the most sins. And those closest to God tend to be the most charitable. They are the quickest to forgive, quickest to restore and the quickest to help someone who is struggling with sin.
Where do we go from here? We have no time to hate, no time to condemn, no time to live in bitterness. How will we get from here to there? We need the help of God to do a supernatural work in our hearts.
I’d like to suggest a simple prayer for the Holy Spirit to take over our life. Saying words alone won’t change our heart, but if these words reflect our deepest desire, then today could be a new beginning for us.
Heavenly Father, our problem is not with your Word. We know what it says. And our problem is not with other people, not even the ones who have hurt us deeply. Our problem is on the inside. For too long we have tried to solve our own problems and it has not worked. We confess that too many times we have been critical of those around us. Forgive us our thoughtless, unkind, hurtful words. Oh Lord, show us a better way! Without you, we will never change.
Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us how to live. Thank you for showing us how to die. Thank you for showing us how to forgive the people who have hurt us the most.
Holy Spirit, fill us with your power so that we might become truly different people. Set us free from bitterness, from anger and from a judgmental spirit. Grant us power to love each other.
Make us like Jesus, full of grace and truth. And do it now, in this moment, as we pray this prayer.
May God grant you new life through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. And may you experience the freedom of forgiveness and the joy that comes from letting him take control. Amen.
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