The plank in your own eye and the monstrosity of the self. (A New Year Resolution)

Then Jesus said “Why do you see the speck of dust in Mark Driscoll’s eye and ignore the plank in your own eye?”

I sent that as a Tweet Thursday evening. The thing is I am challenging myself. I am raising a question, rather then making a definitive point. I’m allowing that question to challenge me and realising the need for humility.

A related post I made is here: “Thank you God that I am not like the Pharisee“.

I’m not going to lie I’m no Driscoll fan, I think a lot of what he says is dangerous and damaging. But when I fall into judgment then I can claim to be no better.

There have, unsurprisingly, been many blog posts after the publication of his new book. Many that have appeared in my twitter timeline – and some that I have probably passed on myself too. But I began questioning it, questioning my motivation, questioning what I was putting effort into.

Something that has become increasingly apparent to me is the way that judgment and judging and forgiveness and forgiving come in pairs together in the Bible. Forgive others that the Father may forgive you. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us. Forgive as you have been forgiven. And (just before Jesus’ comments about dust and planks). “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Always coming in pairs. Following a pattern that is often found – the rhythm of in and out, like breathing. We breathe in that we may breath out. We pray in that we may act out. We forgive that we may be forgiven. We don’t judge that we won’t be judged.

“With the measure you use, it will be measured to you”. That’s the hard hitting line. I’ve come to the realisation that there is no way that I want to be judged by anyone by the standard that I use against Driscoll.

In the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee we learn that the point is humility. And with the question about dust and planks we see that it is about looking at ourselves and seeing where we get it wrong, rather then concentrating on others. And this, surely, can only lead to humility as we see our own monstrosity.

Rollins speaks about monstrosity. We often see the other as monstrous, we look at other people, other cultures, the things that other people do and see the monstrosity, but we fail to see our own. We fail to realise that if we were to look at ourselves through someone else’s eyes just how monstrous our own actions, beliefs and culture looks.  You can read more into this here.

And I think that this is the point, it is about seeing our own monstrosity – our own failings, the things that we get wrong, rather then concentrating on others. The point is that we look at getting things right ourselves, over pointing out where others are getting it wrong.

And so this is my belated New Year’s resolution to try and focus on where I can do right, reduce my own wrong doing and focus less on others getting it wrong. I’m only human, I will fail at times! We get things wrong – that’s why we have grace! Which is really the whole point in this post.


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