Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

What We See in Others Is in Ourselves

Luke 6:39-7:10 So often I stand in judgment of others, and soon discover I am guilty of the very same things I see critically in others. You've heard the old expression, "When you point your finger at someone, four fingers are pointing back at you." Isaiah 58 speaks of God's chosen fast, and one of the things listed we need to fast from is the pointing of the finger. If our church could go on such a fast, we would have unity in the church.

Jesus tells us that we often see the mote (a tiny splinter) in the eye of others and neglect to see the beam that is in our own eye. It has been my experience that the things that really bug me in some people are the very things I am struggling to overcome in my own life. The moment I get irritated by another person, I quietly pray, "Lord, is this in me?" The answer always comes back, "Yes." Then I have to pray, "Lord, forgive me for seeing this so quickly in another and refusing to see this in myself. I confess this as sin and ask You to cleanse me." Now I am in a position to effectively pray for the person I criticized or the person who irritated me.

Most critical, judgmental people have a lot of insecurity. They are always pointing the finger to keep from examining their own lives for fear they will discover they too are not perfect. I have found that most critical, judgmental people are perfectionists. They are afraid of having their imperfections discovered, so they criticize all those they encounter in life.

Today you might want to ask the Lord, "Is there a beam in my own eye I need to see and with Your help remove?"

Lord, forgive me for being judgmental and critical of others. I need to recognize my own faults and to see I am the one who needs to change. Help me to look at myself honestly first, and then I will be able to accept others just the way they are. Amen.

READ: Deuteronomy 4:1-49; Luke 6:39-7:10; Psalm 68:1-18; Proverbs 11:28

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