The Lord is very creative when it comes to revealing what’s in our hearts. He is gentle, and has a sense of humor as He helps us see what’s hidden so well that we can not see it for ourselves.
This is one method He uses with me:
Beating, ever beating
Picking, ever picking
at the splinters I see in others’ eyes.
When I do
I knock them senseless,
leave them bleeding -
Their specks but fragments
of my offending plank.
I love watching dramatizations of Scripture. They helps me to see a book as one continuous story, instead of lifting a verse off the page here or there, as we are used to doing. Once such movie is Matthew. It is the entire book (NIV) in living color. Bruce Marchiano has the role of Jesus and portrays our Lord in a way I’d never imagined He could be.
The above poem is inspired by Bruce’s portrayal of the plank/speck section of the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 7:1-5. As Bruce presented this teaching, he held a log in his hands and talked about the plank we have in our eye. The scene made me laugh…then made me realize how silly we are when we try to help someone remove a splinter from their eye; and club them to pieces with the beam that protrudes from our own. See it for yourself (they show the scene I’m talking about at 44 seconds):
The first time I saw this, I realized that the splinter and the plank are made of the same material. What I see in them is a tiny bit of what is a big fault in me.
Now, knowing what I need to confess is as easy as looking at that for which I’ve criticized others. If I’m willing to be honest, I usually discover their sin lurking within my heart – even if my actions don’t yet reflect my thoughts. The negativity (i.e.) that I spot in others bugs me because, deep down, I know I am guilty of this myself. The Lord uses the “gift” of “sin-sniffing” to show me something He wants me to admit to – and surrender to Him.
Become a “Christian scientist,” take this to the “lab” and test my theory. The next time there’s an opportunity to criticize someone, stop and ask the Lord, “Is this something I’m doing as well?”
Dare to lay your heart open before Him.
Like me, your question, “Am I…” will probably, in time, be exchanged for this request: “Okay, Lord, show me where I am guilty of this same sin!”
Two things will happen: you’ll become a cleaner vessel; and you will be able to remove others’ splinters…
…now that you’re not workin’ around your log!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Visit Lessons by Heart
There are times when the most important thing that we can do is to just set back and review where we have been and where we are going. Sometimes we try to decide for our selves what the Lord wants us to do. We get in the way and make the process more and more difficult. Three things today have reminded me that we are all in His hands and no matter what our own desires are, they are not what God may want from us. A niece’s husband died having a stent put in and I hope that you will include her and her children in your prayers, she is very ill herself, reading Terry Shepherd’s blog about her brother, she is heart broken at times and needs our prayers for strength, and another friend, who lives abroad suffers with her eyesight and yet is so generous and willing to share her work for the world to see, at least the small bit that reads these blogs.
Sitting here listening to “I can only imagine” by Mercy Me brings it into even more perspective. We are just small parts of a very large plan. We may never be able to conceive of the greatness of it but we can do our part and pray for those we know are in need and for those who we don’t know. If the whole world spent ten minutes out of each day giving glory to God, can we even begin to imagine the transformation that would be possible? If you are giving thanks to Him and praying for others, getting into mischief is a little less likely don’t you think? Please do remember these in prayer and visit Terry, at: