FORGIVING OTHERS AND SELF
Read: Matthew 7:1-6
“1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “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? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (NIV Matthew 7:1-6)
Study: When one person regularly judges another as “inferior” or “wrong,” that hurts any friendship. The same attitudes can do even more damage to closer relationships. It is important for us to address why we feel a need to criticize and judge a relationship partner, and “First take the log out of your eye”! (At the same time, verse 6 made it clear that Jesus did not call anyone to be a naïve victim in an abusive relationship.) Jesus used a hyperbolic image (the log in your eye) to remind his hearers that “we all have faults, and so we all need mercy. Recognizing our own failings makes us more forgiving toward others.” How can honest self-evaluation, and openness to hearing what bothers your partner or friend, help build a relationship that makes both of you stronger, rather than tearing each other down?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep me healthily aware of my strengths while still being able to “take the log out of [my] eye” before trying to correct or “improve” my partner and friends. Amen.