Saturday, January 30, 2010

The beam and the sawdust

One of the hardest people to help in this world are those who have a huge beam sticking out of their own eye, to which the are totally blind, as they tell those with the sawdust in their eye how they can get better if they would only follow beam girl's advice. How in the world do you approach someone who sees others' problems so clearly and yet remains blind to his or her own glaring faults? Agghh!

As a person who often judges herself much harder than anyone else would, this phenomenon causes my brain to hurt. All of us have blind spots, after all, we're human beings. We do not, however, all have blind spots that cover our entire view except for the microscopic hole we look out of to tell others how they can fix their life.

By now, you may have guessed I know someone like this, and I'm frustrated. You would be absolutely right! As I try different things and try not to let my own anger get in the way, I just wind up shaking my head. Is there hope for someone like this? Of course there is. With God, there's always hope, but this is a tough case.

The first thing to do in dealing with this person is to recognize that I am not in control. Fixing the person is God's job, not mine. God may use me to plant seeds or water, but the crop is in His hands.

The second thing to do is pray, pray, pray and pray some more. This person needs God's help to get out of a life-long pattern learned in childhood and not forsaken in adulthood. Prayer is not just for the other person, either. It is very difficult to stay angry at someone you pray for. Prayer works on the prayer's attitude, giving the prayer patience and insight as they surrender all to the Lord.

A third thing to do is love. Loving someone who often drives off everyone by pointing out how they could change if they would "just...", is not the easiest job in the world, but it's doable if you stay in a good relationship with the Father. God never said we have to like everything, but He does command us to love. This person probably needs love more than many because they drive off everyone who tries to love them.

Remembering not to burn relationship bridges through anger, pride or hurt is difficult. We don't like it when people talk about our family or constantly deflect all fault to others, but the only way to make the world a better place is to keep after this person through surrender, prayer and love, planting seeds of hope that can sprout up and remake the person. God can whittle down that beam into sawdust if we ask. Maybe that's why Jesus came as a carpenter, so He could help all of us remove those beams or specks from our own eyes.

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be meeasured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? . . . . first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)

Father, open my eyes to the blind spots in my own life. I surrender them to you to remove that I may see clearly to do the work you have called me to do. Then give me wisdom to help my brother with his/her vision problems. You know the needs much better than I do, and you know the things that have brought this person to this point. You also know the needs this behavior masks. Be the need-meeter of this person and give me wisdom in knowing how to deal with the issues. Also give me insight into the hurts underneath this person is trying to meet in ways that don't satisfy. Bring your child to you. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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