Posted by: New in Every Way | August 27, 2012

Log Jam

∞   BIBLE JOTTINGS  ∞

The bible passage below contains the word “log.” It made me think of logs drifting down a river, rising and dipping in the current, crashing against each other, piling up against a rock in a giant log jam. A log jam—in a person’s eye!—that’s the word picture in this scripture: 

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others.The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. 

3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5 NLT). 

Let’s say this picture is about a woman named “Sandy” who sees a fault in “Larry’s” character. She takes it upon herself to remove his fault—which is just a speck—but can’t see well because of the log in her eye (so to speak).

Because of verses 1 and 2 (“Do not judge . . .”), I suspect the “log” in the Sandy’s eye is a judgmental, critical spirit. If so, she is not capable of making constructive criticisms like “Larry, you might have more success with your clients if you listen to them more.” Instead, she says—with an attitude,—“It’s no wonder you lose clients! Everything they say to you goes in one ear and out the other.”

There are several reasons Sandy might be critical of Larry. Maybe his personality rubs her the wrong way. Maybe Sandy is insecure about her own job performance and is looking for someone she can feel better than. Maybe she resents something Larry said about her a long time ago. Whatever her reason, it started out as a splinter of resentment that grew and grew until it turned into a log-size judgmental, critical spirit.

Now that her eye is jammed full of this critical spirit, all she sees when she looks at Larry are his faults. If, by chance, Larry does something kind for a co-worker, Sandy will quickly say, “He wants something from you.” She can no longer see anything good in him—and she doesn’t want to. A critical spirit has only one mode: dislike, dislike, dislike.

The only way Sandy will ever again see Larry for who he really is, is to repent of her attitude—and forgive him for whatever he might have done to her. When she does, surprising things could happen. She might realize that what he said about her, way back when, wasn’t so bad, really. She may see that she actually doesn’t listen to her clients much better than Larry does. She may notice that Larry is cordial toward her now that she has dropped her attitude. She will definitely recognize that he does have some pretty good qualities. . . . If she ever does say something to him about what his fault, she will see it as the minor issue it really is and speak to him with friendliness and respect.

Jesus understands about being treated badly. About dealing with unpleasant folks. It happened to him. But he did not carry grudges or judge them more harshly than they deserved. In fact, he asked his Father to forgive those who pounded nails into his hands and feet, “for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

It is important to cut others some slack. It pleases the Lord greatly (because he loves them too), and it keeps our minds and emotions free from unhealthy log jams.

Making It Personal

  • Who has no good qualities in your eyes? Do you know it is possible to see them in a better light?  In his statements above, Jesus implies that you can.
  • No one adopts a critical spirit on purpose. It happens all too easily! But that attitude can be evicted (“get rid of the log in your own eye”).
  • How much more peace and joy can you have in your life if you quickly turn negative thoughts toward others into positive ones—so they don’t grow into a critical spirit? 

 

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Responses

  1. Hi, just wanted to mention, I loved this article.
    It was funny. Keep on posting!

    • Hey, thanks for letting me know you liked it! I like humor too. When I swallow serious thoughts wrapped in humor, they don’t taste like medicine. LOL

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