A Text for Repairing our Reputation

It should be no secret to you that many people in our nation and around the world have some pretty significant misunderstandings and suspicions about Christianity. Which is heartbreaking because we are to be the body of Jesus himself on earth.

One of the most common negative accusations toward Christians is that they are judgmental...always pointing out everyone else's issues and ignoring their own....leading to hypocrisy. In Matthew 7: 1-5, I see a powerful prescription for healing much of the negativity that surrounds Christianity.

Here is what it says:
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye." -Mt. 7: 1-5

A few quick thoughts on this:
  • It is extremely clear that Jesus is saying we must not miss the oak tree in our eye! Stop right there. You have issues. Take notice of them. It is urgent that you work on getting the log out of your eye. First!
  • At the same time, stop looking at others issues. They are nothing compared to yours.
  • What is this doing? It is creating a huge sense of humility in us where we realize who we are and how broken we are, and then helps us love others where they are.
  • This is NOT how most of us function. I am sorry to break it to you. It is WAY more natural to check out everyone else's speck and talk about it, then to look at our log. At least that has been my observation. And evidently the observation of many pollsters.
Concluding Thought:
If only a fraction of Christians lived out Matthew 7: 1-5 as it reads, Christians would be widely known as the most humble, gracious, self efacing, selfless, high impact people on the face of the globe! Instead, we are sadly know as judgmental, legalistic and hypocritical finger-pointers by far too many!
So, let's start begging God to help us see and tend to what is stuck in our eyes until such a time when our view of ourselves is so steeped in Christ's humility that it is almost impossible to see the dust particles in the eyes of others.
I recognize that this is controversial stuff. And so was almost everything that Jesus every said or taught. This is the kingdom he envisioned. Welcome to it.