26 June 2017
The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your family and your father’s house, for the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name so famous that it will be used as a blessing.
‘I will bless those who bless you:
I will curse those who slight you.
All the tribes of the earth
shall bless themselves by you.’
So Abram went as the Lord told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had amassed and the people they had acquired in Haran. They set off for the land of Canaan, and arrived there.
Abram passed through the land as far as Shechem’s holy place, the Oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘It is to your descendants that I will give this land.’ So Abram built there an altar for the Lord who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the mountainous district east of Bethel, where he pitched his tent, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. Then Abram made his way stage by stage to the Negeb.
Jesus said to his disciples:
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How dare you say to your brother, “Let me take the splinter out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.’
“Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.”
This is a passage that many of us would be struggling with. Even as I was praying with the scriptures, my heart was already telling me that some people in my life should be reading this passage for they are not aware of their failings.
I try my very best to always be as aware as possible because it is never my intention to cause anyone any hurt or harm. But yet, it is usually during my reflection after an event that makes me realise the areas I did wrongly. I want the best for others, I want them to experience Christ, yet sometimes all that excitement and passion leads to me being impatient, resulting in frustration, disappointment and hurt, whether with myself or others. I am a perfectionist and most of the time, when I feel I can do better, I’ll try to get myself involved so that hopefully, I can help others be more aware.
But the real question is how aware am I actually? I don’t think it’s a lot to do with judging but more how much do we love the other? Do we love the other such that we will bring them up versus put them down, be patient and understanding with them versus force upon them compliance, encourage versus criticise?
I guess to a large extent, it is also about our pride. That I can’t have others being better than me thus I need to put people down so that I may be above. I feel I am able to manage my pride but what still frustrates me is when someone obviously cannot make it, but doesn’t feel that anything is wrong. And in order that I may not be like one towards others, I always remember to ask for feedback and constructive criticism in order that I may be aware of the log in my eye and hopefully be able to remove it.
I guess the challenge really is to see Christ in others. To look with love. There will always be logs and splinters, but I believe there will also always be love. Where there is love, there is God.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray that we will see not with the eyes of judgment but that of love. That we may always look to you, from your example, where you say “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. And where you still gave your life for us. Help us to continue to love as you did. Help us to be like you.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for your wisdom and for the challenges in our lives. Thank you for always providing us with that second chance. Thank you for not judging us. Thank you for loving us always.