41"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? 42How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
37"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." 39He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?
I was just minding my business, putting in my contact lenses this morning when wham, this verse hit me between the eyes.
In regard to relationships, how many of us, especially when it comes to our spouse's personalities or habits, have a laundry list of things that we'd like them to be working on? ...Hmmmm?... It's so easy to see fault in everyone else when for some reason we don't see fault in ourselves. I'm modeling my T-Shirt now...ya like it?
Let's look at that first scripture that talks about the sawdust that we are trying to remove from our "brother's" eye. The comparison is amazing. A piece of sawdust verses a piece of lumber. How can we even see clearly to help someone else when we have a monstrous obstruction in our own life. This goes back to the concept of getting our relationship right with God first, before we start trying to work on relationships with others.
Finger pointing and accusations can start flying in a relationship so easily. I have found that really the Lord is interested in working on me, then He promises to do the same for everyone else. I can allow God and the Holy Spirit to show me the route to change, then get busy following it. Then I can pray for my husband, friend, relative, child or business partner. I can talk with them, pray with them, encourage them, even study the Word with them, but I don't need to "judge them". That's up to God.
Judging, condemnation, and unforgiveness; those three things can wreck any marriage or relationship. Then it says "give, and it will be given back to you". I always thought of that in terms of money. But what about "time, energy, love, companionship, help, encouragement, kindness, compassion, etc.? Today, I'm thinking that if I give my love, I will get love spilling over. If I give my time and energy to someone, someone else will give their time and energy to me when I need it. See what I mean? If we could take the criticism and complaints, turn them over to God, then be ready to "give" how much better would our relationships be?
Let's look on the inside, let God have control of our hearts, submit ourselves unto God, then let Him show us the best way to be "in relationship".
I guess this is a pretty timely message for Valentine's Day, whadaya think?