start the week (iii)
People can be the worst.
Selfish, lazy, thoughtless, greedy… I bet we all know people who fit into these categories and more. Often we don’t even have to think about it – we can pinpoint other people’s faults automatically. But we rarely turn that same observant eye on ourselves, and so we miss what’s staring us in the face.
Jesus had this to say to the Pharisees, the legalistic Jewish leaders in his day:
‘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? How 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.
Other people’s faults are their problem, Jesus says, we’ve all got more than enough of our own to worry about.
Imagine if we changed it around so with other people we only noticed their good qualities. Imagine if everyone did that. How would that change things in your family? Or with your work colleagues, or friends at school or uni? How would it change your church?
Imagine if you could see yourself more clearly, too, so that all your flaws were obvious. What would you urgently need to change?
The great thing about being a Christian is that we’re not left to become better people on our own. It won’t happen by just trying really, really hard to be perfect. We change by trusting in Jesus, who has saved us from our sins and the Spirit who frees us from our sinful nature.
So why not try it for yourself this week? Focus on what’s good in other people, and ask God to show you what needs changing in yourself.