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Saturday, March 16, 2013

The speck and The board (subtitle: Deal with your baggage girl!)

"And why worry about a speck in your friends eye, when you have a board in your own?"  Matthew 7:3

In the grand (and even not so grand) scheme of things, all of us have an Achilles heel.  That thing, or things, that can make us not only fall off of the wagon but jump off of it and then try to walk instead of just hopping back on...Some of you know what I'm saying!  One woman might not be able to control herself if a gallon of ice cream is in the vicinity - she will kick off her shoes, curl up on the sofa with a spoon and a dishtowel (to wrap around the carton so her hands won't get cold), then zone out into her own little world.  Another woman will melt into a puddle of sugar, spice, and all things nice when a handsome man walks into the room - with a flip of her hair and the bat of an eyelash she won't focus on anything but getting him to focus on her; a slow sache across the room to catch his eye, a brush against his shoulder, an extra chuckle or notable comment, a sly cross of the legs, anything to get his attention.  Neither of these women sound like you, huh?  Seems a little pathetic to you?  Maybe you can't imagine a woman would stoop to that level, but what may be incomprehensible in your view may be a way of life for someone else.  Criticism is a hill of rough terrain - the longer you travel on its path the bumpier the ride gets. 

"Judge not, that you not be judged."  Matthew 7:1.  This passage of scripture is so basic that it is confusing to some.  Let's look at the concept of the speck and the board and really break this thing down...

Matthew 7:3 "And why worry about the speck in your friend's eye when you have a board in your own?"  Duly noted.  But what if your friend calls attention to her "speck" and asks for advice/ feedback/ help with her speck?  Well, I'm glad you have asked such a poinient question missy!
Matthew 7:4  "How can you think of saying, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye' when you can't see past the board in your own eye?"  So before we go running around, looking down at the woman that has lost one too many battles with Breyer's, we must analyze ourselves for the boards in our own eyes.

In verse 5 of the same passage Jesus calls this person a hypocrite. An He's serious about it!  A hypocrite is defined as 1. a person who pretends to have virtues, morals, or religious beliefs, principles, etc, that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs  2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

In review, it is hypocritical to bad mouth/ criticize/ look down on: a) an overweight person if you are an indulger in something that may not show on your physical exterior. b) a single woman with several children if you have had abortions, close calls, or multiple sex partners. c) a woman wearing a skirt that is too short/ top that is too low/ pants that are too tight if you seek attention in other ways like demeaning others to boost yourself up.  Get the picture?

Matthew 7:5 "First get rid of the board from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friends eye."  I see this last verse as a message of assistance rather than one of admonition.  I used to think the message was "Stop worrying about fixing everyone else until you fix yourself!"  But now I see it from a whole new perspective.  Think of an airplane oxygen mask.  When you take a plane, the instruction for dealing with a loss in cabin pressure is to place your mask on first before making an attempt to help others with their masks.  This is not because it is 'every man for himself', it's because I can be of no use to others if I am going down while trying to help them out.  Likewise, if I have recognized my board - overeating/ overspending/ lusting of the eyes and flesh - and am working to remove it, I will have more compassion for what the person with the speck is going through and be able to share with them the power that God gives to overcome the specks and boards in the eyes of life.

As followers of Christ we are tasked to help strengthen and build His kingdom.  Blind builders with specks and boards in their eyes are pretty ineffective... As we are working get our eyes board free we are to also be compassionate towards others around us who are working to do the same.  I'm praying for you ladies!  With God all things are possible.

Stay fly girls!

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