I’m a bit frustrated w this eye sty thing. My facebook friends have given me lots of prayer & ideas to get rid of the silly thing & i’m really grateful. i also think its kind of humorous when i consider that last week, i did a message on taking the speck out of someone else’s eye, based on what Jesus said in Matt 7:1-5 relating to having a beam in our own eye.
So here’s the relevance: we all see problems in other people’s lives – hypocrisy, insecurity, obsessive behaviors, addictions, insincerity, . . . . its very easy to “see” the faults of others & we can be really quick to try & point out the problems of others. But before we begin taking out the speck out of someone else’s eye, let’s ask ourselves 3 questions:
- Is the speck in the person’s eye more accurately a reflection of the beam in your own eye?
- Is the speck in the person’s eye a “deflection” (distraction) from the beam in your eye?
- What is your motive in trying to get the speck out of the other person’s eye?
Having a sty in my eye has made me very sensitive & aware of my eye & i think perhaps God is working w me to clear up some personal issues & to clean up some motives in my attempts to help others. See any areas where God wants to grow you??
I really like languages – they fascinate me in their ability to not merely communicate words but so much more than that. But i find it interesting that even when we communicate w someone who has our common mother language, there’s PLENTY of room for mis-communication. Here’s an interesting example: several years ago, i was talking w a young man in our church who was EXTREMELY upset. We were talking through a conflict that he was in & he made a statement that still haunts me today. He said something to the affect that it was the hearers 100% responsibility to understand him, regardless of his poor communication skill. This floored me & still makes me spin.
Communication is a 2 way street – the hearer & the speaker should work together to be on the same page. This is also true w God. I think there are alot of times that God speaks w us, but we mistranslate what He’s saying. This often happens because we don’t like what He’s saying or we didn’t listen for the whole message or we didn’t wait for Him to give us the context for application, or . . . . Personally, i think God speaks w us, ALOT. But let’s continually pray that He increases our abilities to understand Him & that He decreases our mistranslations 😉
If you haven’t read the post below this one, i’d encourage you to read that one 1st – its short & sweet & will help you understand this post. Here’s my counter-point from what i said below – Jesus gives us what we need, when we need it; nothing less or late. There was a season in my life when i would’ve argued this point & there are times when i still find myself not so happy w His choices for me. Nevertheless, i still believe this is true: Jesus gives us what we need, when we need it.
Now here’s some of my thinking: there are times when we’ve asked Jesus to do something & He hasn’t done what we asked. In some ways, this relieves me because it gives me confidence in Him that He’s going to make decisions for me outside of my preferences. This is comforting to me because i think this is what all good parents do. If i gave my kids everything they wanted, they would have some serious struggles. Furthermore, i have confidence in God that He makes better decisions for my life, than i do (He’s got more wisdom, insight, understanding, etc). Now i’m not advocating that we dismiss prayer as futile. But i’d encourage you to view prayer from a conversation perspective moreso than a request perspective. While i think that the Bible encourages us to make our requests to be made known to God (Philip 4), be careful not to get pouty if you don’t get your way – i’m speaking mostly to myself here. 😉
i recently had a fun conversation w 1 of my friends who has recently had her 3rd child. she was lamenting the fact that it always seemed like she was behind, late, sleepy, etc. We were laughing because even before i had children, i was often late, running behind & felt like i was always trying to catch up. Now that i have children, well, let’s just say that i’m occassionally on time & frequently feel like there’s not enough of me & in some ways, i’m ok with that. Maybe you think that i shouldn’t be ok with that & that i should consider managing my time, energy, resources better to avoid these feelings. Seems reasonable to me.
However, if i live life within my margins, it seems to me that i’ll always be limited by my margins. I’m ok with running out of myself & having to rely on God (being irresponsible doesn’t fall into this category). I’m ok with God organizing my time for His purposes, while challenging me to keep my feet fully planted in daily living & its demands. On some days, I’m ok w feeling inadequate as i learn to trust & rely on God more. Somewhere, there needs to be some grace between “should” & “is”.