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Let us tend our own gardens first
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Well, my driver’s license is about to expire. That means that I will soon be five years older than I used to be. I thought about simply renewing it online, but I want a new picture. No, I’m not that vain. But since I last got a license I have had laser eye surgery. I no longer wear glasses, and my old picture has me in glasses. I don’t want to have to explain that to an officer.
You know, I remember when my dad and his siblings had to take the car keys away from my grandfather. Pa Pa didn’t like that at all. But the fact was that he was a danger to himself and to others, every time he got in his car. He couldn’t see. His reflexes were slow. It just wasn’t good. Pa Pa didn’t agree. “I can see just as well as I could 20 years ago,” he declared to everyone who would listen.
I knew better, but I also knew better than to argue with him. Besides, I was only 12. The safest thing for me to do was to nod my head in agreement. But I have thought about that situation a lot. Why is it that my granddad could not see that he was no longer able to drive safely? Why do we all fail to see our own flaws? After all, the alcoholic is often the last one to realize he has a problem.
Jesus once said, “Why do you point out the speck of dust in your friend’s eye, and you have a log stuck in your own eye?” Yes, that’s a paraphrase, but it captures exactly what Jesus said. The bottom line is this. I can see, point out, and provide a better solution for your problems than I can for my own. I easily see where you are wrong, and I cannot understand why you do nothing about it.
But my own sin? My first response is to say, “What sin?”
If I could see more clearly I would realize that I am mired in the muck and the mess of sin that will destroy me if I do nothing about it. And yet, I am quick to judge you … quick to point out your deficiencies … quick to condemn you.
What is the solution to this? We are to look carefully and prayerfully into the mirror of our own souls. When we do, then we will realize that we are not all that God created us to be. Then we are to confess our sin, and seek God’s forgiveness. As we do so, God will mold us and make us to be more like Him. And that is the goal in the first place.
I pray that God will help us to see ourselves honestly, and then to turn to Him to make us more like Himself. We can change the world if we do.
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