Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Matthew 7:1-12 (NRSV)
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
“Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.
“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
A few years ago, country artist Mac Davis sang, “O Lord it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way. I can’t wait to look in the mirror cause I get better looking each day.…Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, but I’m doing the best that I can.”
Self-awareness is a curious concept. It’s easy to look at others, but so hard to see ourselves. We look at ourselves from a particular vantage point and tell ourselves that we are, after all, really good people—or at least we are trying to be good people. If only others would put the same effort into self-improvement and self-esteem, the world would be great.
Jesus said that we should take care in judging others and ourselves—and he didn’t make it a suggestion, but a command. Do not judge! We really don’t have a choice, but we are not left entirely to our own devices. We can ask God for help and God has promised that we will receive it. We can search and find; when we knock, the door will open and we will find the help and aid we need. Asking, searching, and knocking sometimes require more patience and perseverance than we want to expend. But God gives more than we can possibly imagine. Thank God!
Thank you, most gracious and generous God, for not leaving us alone. Help us to look at ourselves honestly, to see ourselves through your compassionate eyes, and to look at others with empathy and love. Help us to keep our focus on you and the people we are created to be. Amen.
Go with God.