|Photo by Amelia Grace Photography|
The Log in My Eye
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
English Standard Version (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
Yearsago, I went for an early morning jog. As I passed my neighbor’s yard, Igrumbled to myself about the weeds in his yard. “He’s just letting theneighborhood go to pieces.” But then my eyes caught some movement in themorning light. It was a man shuffling his trashcans to the curb -- the efforttook all his might. Later, I found out his lungs had froze while working inAntarctica during his military service. He could barely breathe and was on atransplant waiting list. Knowing the full story, I had nothing but mercy for myneighbor and his weeds.
Thoughthe New Testament tells us in a number of places not to judge our brother, thisdoes not mean we should not judge at all. We must formulate judgments in orderto know how --and how not -- to live our lives. But in our judgment we must be cautious and discerning, not condemning.
Typicallywhen we know the reasons people do things, we are more merciful. The Bibletells us tells us that we will all be judged, but mercy is the filter. AsChrist offers us mercy, might we be that way as well. And when we come to ourconclusions we must remember we do not know all the facts. Americans like tosay, “But for the grace of God go I,” and the French say, “To know all, is toforgive all.”
Thismorning during my prayer time I challenged myself to insert my name into ICorinthians 13, and to substitute my name for the word love. Lucille is patientand kind. I felt like a liar so I asked God to help me make mercy my startingpoint!
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant orrude. It doesnot insist on its own way; it isnot irritable or resentful; it doesnot rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things,believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends… faith, hope,and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.