Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why 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 own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matt. 7:1-5
Dear Lord Jesus, when I rubbed my irritated eyes this morning, I soon realized it wasn’t a speck of dust, but a rough-hewn board stuck there. I went to bed last night having made myself the judge, jury, and executioner of people who irritate, disappoint, and fail me.
Though I’m not a screamer or yeller, I do, at times, indulge a critical and cynical spirit. Through I struggled with Spanish, I’m fluent in the body language of irritation and impatience. Have mercy on me, Lord Jesus. You are so forbearing, kind, and gracious. Have mercy on me, the self-righteous sinner. My self-righteousness doesn’t show up in trying to merit more of your love, but in withholding your compassion and kindness from others.
Lord Jesus, as Chief cardiologist and ophthalmologist, bring your grace and truth to bear in my heart and my eyes. I want to love others as you love me, and see in others what you see in them. And I don’t want people to feel pressure to change who they’re around me; neither do I want them to feel my indifference and disengagement. Teach me and lead me in the third way, in all of my relationships—the way of the gospel.
Since you do call us to help one another with our “specks of sawdust,” help me be a first responder to the life-giving rebukes friends give me. Humble me, gentle me, and change me, Lord Jesus. I want to live as a conduit of your mercy and grace. So very Amen I pray, in your merciful and mighty name.