Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. ~ Matthew 7:1-5, HCSB
Okay. Now is the time to be transparent and honest – in all the humility I can muster, so that God may be glorified.
My family and closest friends know that I have been experiencing problems in a relationship with a family member. This relationship has been troubled for a while. I have prayed, cried, searched Scripture, and sought godly counsel. I have talked, cried, argued, and pleaded with this family member. I have even been so gracious as to admit that this problem is not ALL the fault of the other.
Nothing was working. Or at least that is how it seemed.
Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call to Him while He is near.
Let the wicked one abandon his way
and the sinful one his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord,
so He may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for He will freely forgive.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not My ways.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.
“For as heaven is higher than earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:6-9, HCSB
God’s ways are not my ways. His thoughts are not my thoughts. He works in ways I will never comprehend. And he showed that this week. He revealed how He has been working in this relationship, and the changes that have occurred in just a few days have been miraculous.
As I reflect on all of this, I can recognize at least one thing that occurred that allowed God to move powerfully…
WE BOTH HAD TO BREAK.
Not just the other person – the one who was blinded by pride toward their share of the problem (their “log”) – the one who needed to come to a point of desperation and openness…
I had to break. ME. The one who had already reached desperation and openness. I had to acknowledge my speck, own it in all its ugliness and potential for harming others. I had to recognize that even though my speck is smaller than their log, both are sinful and harmful, and both are judged equally by God. It was only in this realization, and the resulting repentance, that I have been able to make substantial progress towards removing my speck. As I do this, I have so much more energy and focus to be able to help my family member remove the log – a job that is bigger than just one person can handle alone.
For just as rain and snow fall from heaven
and do not return there
without saturating the earth
and making it germinate and sprout,
and providing seed to sow
and food to eat,
so My word that comes from My mouth
will not return to Me empty,
but it will accomplish what I please
and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up,
and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up;
it will make a name for Yahweh
as an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed. ~ Isaiah 55:10-13, HCSB
God’s Word never returns void. He hears and answers prayer. He is Faithful and True. He restores and revives. He heals and blesses and makes beautiful things of our lives. He gives fullness of joy. God is Love.