Spiritual Director · July 18, 2017

Devote #63

Have you ever noticed that some people just aren’t nice? Even as I say that, certain people flash in front of my eyes. They always seem to have this edge about them. They have this slanted look in their eyes when they look at you and their voice seems a bit tense. Generally they’re pretty critical of you, and when they do try to compliment you it has a condition to it. They say somewhat nice things to your face, but you know full well, behind your back, the things they say, negate what they said to you. You even have a hard time saying anything nice about them.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced people like this, whether it be someone in our own family, a co-worker, even someone in our church family. Sometimes it seems like we attract those kinds of people – it’s kind of our lot in life – our thorn in the flesh that we need to live with.

But this morning as I was reading the Word, Holy Spirit was convicting my heart in a different direction. Maybe those people are around me because it’s the way I treat I people. That’s right, maybe I am getting what I’ve been giving. Ouch, right? I don’t always like it when Holy Spirit convicts me, but this I know, He’s trying to refine me, sanctify me, and sometimes making me look in the mirror causes me to not like what I see.

Here’s the verses I read today…

Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you.

Luke 6:37 CEV

And then Jesus goes on to say…

You can see the speck in you friends eye. But you don’t notice the log in your own eye. How can you say, ‘Friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You show-offs! First, get the log out of you own eye. Then you can see how to take the speck out of your friends eye.

Luke 6:41-42 CEV

Notice, Jesus didn’t say, leave the speck in your friends eye. No, He said we should help our friend get the speck out, but first we should take that huge log out of our own eye – you know the one which is so large, but we can’t see.

It’s easy for me to point out everyone else’s glitches in life and overlook my own. It’s easy for me to be just as critical of my own family members, co-workers or even church family, because if I can tell you their problems, I won’t look as bad.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Jesus said, “The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.” (Matthew 6:38) If you’re not being treated so well, check out how you’re treating others. And if you’re like me, start the process of taking the log out of your own eye.

Forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.