Tuesday, February 11, 2014

is one eye enough?

Hmmm... What does it mean to have a log in your eye?

I got a little glimpse of what it feels like a couple of weeks ago.  

I woke up and felt something funny in my eye.  I reached to rub it (I know, I know...) and recoiled at my own touch.  My entire eye socket felt bruised.  It felt like it was swelling as I sat there.  I felt like I had been sucker punched in the eye.

I got out of bed and ran to the bathroom to inspect my eye in the mirror.  I was expecting to see something horrifying.  It felt terrible, at least it would be bloodshot or something.  Maybe it would be red and swollen.  But when I looked, it appeared perfectly normal.  What???

I checked closer, compared the two eyes.  Alas, there wasn't anything to speak of.  Maybe a little swelling, but could've been my imagination.

I complained to my mom.  "I feel like someone punched me out." When lamenting to my friend, she laughed, "Maybe someone did."  Ha. Ha.

It was bugging me terribly.  Focusing on things, moving my eyeball to look in different directions, it all hurt.  I held my eye shut with my palm and applied pressure.  It made it feel better. My friend suggested that it was a stye and said that it would help to apply a hot compress.  I took a washcloth doused in hot water and pressed it to my eye.  Such relief!

I went about my business, pathetically pressing a wet washcloth to the side of my face.  And I noticed something.

I never realized how important it was that both of my eyes work together.  Obviously, as I went about my business that day, I was only using one eye.

My perspective and perception was literally off.  I would reach for something and not realize that it was closer or farther away than I had estimated.  Everything looked more dim.  I had to focus harder to read (and I don't wear glasses or contacts). Everything was just generally harder to see.

I kept feeling a weird urge to say that I had a log in my eye.  Because seriously, that's what it felt like.

Then I was thinking...

The scriptures ask why we should take the speck out of our brother's eye when we have a huge log in our own. 


"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."  ~Matthew 7:3-5

The Lord charges us to first remove the log from our own eye, then take the speck out of our brother's eye.  I witnessed first hand what it felt like to be crippled in one eye--I probably would have been barely able to see the speck, much less help someone to remove it!  

My perception would be off, I would have ended up hurting the other person because I could not see clearly enough to properly remove the speck.  In reaching toward their face, I probably would have ended up accidentally jamming their eye with the force, because my estimation was off.

When we have sin in our own lives that needs to be rooted out, it messes up the way that we see.  We may be able to see the specks in other people's eyes, the problems that they need to take care of, but until we have taken care of our own, our perspective is off--we can't see clearly enough to give them the proper care that they need to remove the speck!  We would probably end up hurting them rather than helping them.

I'm not saying that we should ignore the sin of other people, on the contrary!  Out of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we should be ever ready to exhort them in the truth of the Word if they are in error.  However, I believe that we should always be looking to ourselves first and foremost to make sure that we don't have any logs in our eyes before trying to remove specks from others.

And sometimes, the log isn't obvious to everyone else.  It may not be clearly seen, but that doesn't make it any less the hurtful--to ourselves and to others.  

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