Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I am the king of the afterthought. I have always known that if I were on a debate team I would come up with the wittiest retorts two hours after the debate. That being said Lent is almost over, and I just thought of the perfect thing to give up. Condemnation and judgement of others. Jesus said, "Judge not lest you be judged." I will just say that this is not my expertise. After saying this he goes on to say, "How do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother. 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." I always love how drastic Jesus' examples are. Your brother has a tiny little "speck" in his eye and you have this "plank" in your own. Yet we somehow find the time to comment on his "speck," maybe as a means to covering up or drawing attention from our "plank." It seems that Jesus chose such a wide variance for more than one reason. Surely it paints a very vivid picture for us as a way of remembering the proverb, but maybe Jesus was saying that many times our "planks" are so large that we may not get to our brother's "speck." Or maybe after the years, months, days, and hours we spend cutting away the "plank" bit by bit, we will finally "see clearly," that removing the speck from my brother's eye can only be done with love.  A love that is beyond the blindness that comes from our "plank." 

Matt Addis


living stones said...

Matt, great to see you post. I appreciate you comments. A term I've been using lately is "epistemological humility," basically, humility not just as a character trait but as a philosophical position. I saw someone else use it in writing the other day. It stems from recent trends and "discoveries" in philosophy. But--as you nicely describe--Jesus was ahead of the curve there. Nice post. Good to hear you come to voice. --Paul Corrigan

living stones said...

Matt, I was thinking about this scripture verse somewhere around the beginning of Lent, and I appreciate being reminded of it here again at the end. Judging others is an easy practice to slip into. I'm grateful to share in a practice that helps us to let go and to do all things in love. Thanks for sharing.

living stones said...

Great reflection! Very meaningful and essential for us in "being community." It means a lot to me to see such a variety of us sharing in ways that stimulate and strengthen us for "contemplative" living and relating. Thank you!

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