Friday, 6 February 2015

Looking at your own beam {a lesson learnt from a "lost" pack of wipes}

Every now and again, I get to do some crochet or knitting in the daytime.  More often than not, it's an evening activity, after all my jobs are done.  Whenever I get my yarn out, I like to stick my feet up.  Don't ask me why, because I have no idea.  It just seems more comfortable to sit that way, when occupied thus.

I was sat that way, one day, not long ago, when a small person came to me, requiring some attention in the nether regions.  I sent a child to get me a nappy and wipes, and they brought me back a nappy - but no wipes.  I gently suggested they look again, whilst scanning my eye around the room, to see if they had been misplaced.  It happens, don'thcha know..... *aherm*


Still no wipes.

I started to get  a little irritated.  I mean, how hard is it for  child to find a packet of wipes.  After all, I knew they had been in my hand only a short while before, so they couldn't have got far.  There I sat, in my comfortable recline, barking orders to look here, there and everywhere.  I informed them that they were not being thorough enough, and needed to put more effort into finding them.  How could they not see them?

Eventually, frustrated and impatient with the inadequate efforts of my offspring, I removed my feet from the chair they were upon, and where my skirt was hanging down, and sat up more upright, to take a better look myself.

I scanned the room, and still couldn't see that packet, which was being less than obsequious.

Until I moved slightly, and looked down.

There, on the floor, RIGHT BY MY OWN FEET, were the wipes.  Hidden by my very own skirt and legs.


To be fair, the children COULD have seen them.  They would have been slightly more visible to them, than they were to me -  me, sitting making no effort to look myself.

It made me think of how we so quickly find fault in others, whilst not taking a hard look "closer to home".   How easy it is, to sit in "ivory palaces", making judgement on the actions of others. How easy it is to see the sin and failing of those we gaze upon.  How incredibly swiftly the words slip out, in judgement of the inadequacies and short-comings of those around us.

All the while, not taking the time to check our heart and actions FIRST.

Had I bothered to do my part FIRST it would have avoided much exasperation and frustration on my part.

It's something we all fall prey to, at some time or another.  Sitting in a spiritual position of self importance, thinking our view is the right one, and not having the grace to see that others ARE doing their part, and doing their best.  Not seeing that others have a different "view" on the same issue, which is just as valid as our own.  Not accepting that we can miss something important just as easily as someone else has.

The Bible tells us a couple of things that are worth noting.

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? "
Matthew 7:3

It's an age old "quotable quote".   A mote is like a tiny piece of straw - a fleck of something small.  a beam - well, you know what one of those is! The big, heavy duty pieces of timber, used to hold up whole parts of  a building!  Don't go pointing out the tiny things that are "Out of place" spiritually, in the lives of those around you, when you have your own mega planks in our own eye.  Look at yourself first.

"For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
James 1:23-25


That portion of scripture convicts me EVERY TIME I read it.

Skimming over God's Word, without actually applying it, is just not good.  We need to look at ourselves, and see if what we see reflects the truth and teaching of the scriptures. If it doesn't, we need to DO something.  We can't just go off and forget what we have seen, and take no action.  We need to be DOERS.  Looking at others, but forgetting to examine OURSELVES, is not good. 

A hearer, but not a doer, is a hypocrite.  Telling others what is right, but not putting it into action ourselves, is not something God likes AT ALL.  Jesus was constantly rebuking the Pharisees for their hypocrisy.  Over, and over again.  If we pick fault in others, without sorting out or own lives, we are just like them.  

But look - look at what James teaches us. If we listen, learn, and apply scripture to our own heart and life, we will be BLESSED!  Criticising others will never bring us joy and blessing - only a jaded heart and bitterness. 

One of the most descriptive, and challenging verses is this one....

"This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me."

If you call yourself a Christian, but your heart is not where it should be - checking to see that you are honouring and obeying God in your OWN heart and life - it's not good.

The Lord continues on in the chapter to say this....

"but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man."

Our words that we speak are what makes us unclean and tarnished.  

Hypocrites who are quick to say things about others, instead of those who look with humility at their own shortcomings, and beat on their chest saying "God, be merciful to me, a sinner".

Oh, how thankful I am, that the Lord shows me, time and time again, of my own short-comings, through His word, and through even my children.   May He enable me to examine my own heart and life in the light of His word, and e less hasty to condemn others. 

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