Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Specks & Planks, Pigs & Pearls

In just a couple of verses, Jesus says some things that don't seem to go together.

...first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see more clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. (Matt. 7:5b-6a)

What does the first sentence have to do with the second?


Basic communication classes teach us that communication is a two-way process.

1. There is a giver
2. There is a receiver

If either part of the process doesn't work, the message isn't received.

The first sentence talks about the "giver". Before we can presume to speak to someone else about the "speck" in their eye, we must remove the "plank" from our own. Jesus wants to keep us from being hypocrites.

For me, weight has always been a struggle. Occasionally, I hit a period of life when I'm taking weight off, eating less, eating better, and exercising. It always cracks me up how many people, FAT PEOPLE want to tell me how to lose weight. But if I weigh 1,000 lbs., I probably shouldn't presume to tell another how to take off that last 10 lbs.

"First take the plank out of your own eye" tells us to check our own lives, humble ourselves, and listen before we get ready to give.

But the second sentence tells me my own preparation is only 1/2 the battle. The second sentence speaks to the receiver.

The person I'm getting ready to talk to must be ready to receive what I'm going to say. If they're not ready, if I'm not the person to say it, or if the timing isn't right, then I'm simply giving dogs what is sacred or throwing pearls to pigs. They won't understand it. It might even do more harm than good.

May God give me the ability to understand BOTH ends of a conversation before I open my mouth.

May God help me check myself, humble myself.

May God give me insight into the person I'm ready to talk to, and get assurance from the Spirit before I proceed.

Grace & peace

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