After reading my comments yesterday from my blog article – I began to have some additional thoughts to add. My good friends pointed out something that I had missed.
My blog was on judgment – but primarily focusing on me and not them. Judgment will take you outside – reflection will keep you in.
I will admit that it is easier (and less hard work) to keep my focus – out there. I don’t have to do much thinking with my head – I only have to use my emotions to feel. I can point fingers, make comments, feel superior and look good to myself and everyone around me. But the truth is – it is empty when I blame, point fingers and judge. I can pull a warm blanket of self-protection around me and feel justified in doing so.
Self Reflection is much harder. It is what will keep me grounded and focused on the real issue. Me. Oh sure – I want to scream out things like: ‘You don’t even understand me – you don’t know me’, or ‘How could you say that about me – I thought you did know me‘. But holding my tongue and working on me where no one can see the hard work inside – is what makes me mature and forces me to grow up and face my own worst enemy. It is me.
I am capable of being so selfish and so self protective – that I allow thoughts and words to take over my life. Things that may or not even be true about others. Slanderous thoughts can take over my life – and because I’ve been hurt – I play the victim once again – licking my wounds and wallowing in the misery embracing the pain of abuse and judgment that was unfairly heaped upon me. I have no defense from the accusations – and so I allow myself to become hard, cold and bitter. I am capable of this and more.
But if I allow myself to do the hard work of yanking that ‘plank’ out of my eye, piece by piece, splinter by splinter – until there is nothing there anymore – I may discover a sweet surprise. Because I am now free of my bitterness and years of self-protection – I may see that there is nothing to remove from your eyes. And this is a sobering thought indeed. Was it all about me – all along? My lack – my selfishness, my hardness, my coldness, my insensitivity to others, my intolerance, my impatience and the list goes on and on. Yes. I am hopelessly flawed and in need of a Savior.
And thankfully – there is a Savior. One who has walked this earth and understands how it feels to be hurt, rejected, betrayed by a good friend, misunderstood and all the other emotions that go along with that. He was the Son of God and if anyone would have had the right to throw His weight around – be judgmental and be justified for His behavior – it was Jesus. But He let all that go and chose instead to prefer others. He made himself to be a servant – and he humbled himself – even went as far as death on a cross – to redeem those who were lost. Me. He taught me how to live – to give myself away – to let go and love even if it means personal risk. I am ashamed of myself and all my feeble attempts at protecting my pride and looking good. And I am convicted and challenged by His love, grace and mercy – His selfless act. And I am compelled to try to live this way too.
When doing so – you may also find that it is you that you need to fix. And not them.