Monday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 2 Kings 17:5-18, Psalm 60:3-13, Matthew 7:1-5.
“Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)
Why do I notice the speck in my neighbour’s eye but do not notice the log in my own eye? Simple answer: I can’t see the log. Isn’t the log bigger than the speck? The truth is that I have an ego that likes to think of itself as perfect. I become blind to my faults and limitations even though I can barely stand these very limitations in others.
I guess you may have heard the saying that “if you want to catch a thief, employ a thief.” In reality, that which I try to fight in others is the very reflection of my own darkness. If only I am able to tell myself the truth, then I can come out of the darkness.
From time to time, God gives me the opportunity to hear the truth from others but the truth, being too bitter to swallow is perceived as an insult. Rather than accept it and begin to make amends, I start fighting the person who was courageous enough to tell me. I become defensive and start arguing that I am right while they are wrong. I surround myself with praise-singers instead who only help to inflate my ego. Persons who tell us the truth are not easy to come by. People would rather praise you just to make you happy to get something from you.
To see the log inside, we must practice the act of examination of conscience. At the end of each day, begin by recalling the good things you did that day. Then go through your day again, this time identify those things you are ashamed of. You may want to write down everything and if you do, this becomes your own spiritual journal. By examining our conscience every day, we soon begin to see the log in our eye.
Jesus is not saying we shouldn’t correct others. He says “first take out the log in your own eye, and then YOU WILL SEE CLEARLY to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” You cannot help someone simply by judging and condemning them. If you have never been in that person’s shoes, you would never really understand what they are going through. First, cure your blindness, then you can see what the problem is.
If you want to change the world, be the change. Work on your inside. Not many people can compose and sing a beautiful song but almost everyone is an expert in judging a bad song. It is easier to criticize than to create. We like to blame our inadequacies on others.
In our first reading today, we see how the people of Israel suffered because they refused to listen to several prophets that God sent to them who warned them to repent. Don’t be stubborn. Look inwards and begin to work on those things that others have said to you which you brushed off as mere insults. They are not insults, they are just glimpses of the log you cannot see.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me the courage to change and to be a better person every day. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you.