“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5
I find the most difficult aspect of peacemaking is examining my own heart, and asking God to do search me.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)
I will admit, there are times asking God to examine my heart is a scary thing, but then I am convinced that He will reveal my sinful heart attitudes! Self-examination is necessary when you are a part of a conflict.
Before you can point to the faults of the person you are in conflict with, you have to clean out the logs in your own eye/heart. What sin have you brought into the situation? What have you said or done that has contributed to the issue at hand?
In conflict I am more likely to focus on my “opponent” and their wrongs and sins than I am willing to look at my own heart. Sadly, for many people this becomes a way of life and over time they come to believe the lies of their heart. They become blinded and unable to see things as they really are.
Too often personal righteousness becomes an idol to be worshiped and the mere thought or suggestion that we could have any culpability in the conflict brings rage and disbelief. The closest we come to any admission of guilt or logs in our own eye is to say things like, “Everyone sins, everyone is guilty.” We wrongly think this exempts us from admitting personal failure and sin. I have found when I find myself making such rationalizations and justifications my sight is distorted and I have become blind to truth and reality.
None of us want to find ourselves described in the above paragraph!
We run from idolatry and self-deception as women of God, or we ought to! Each of us is completely responsible before our Lord to open the eyes of our hearts through the truth of the Word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We are to willingly lay our hearts bare before Him and rejoice as He brings His cleansing through our thoughts, beliefs, and desires. He is so faithful to make clear to us our own sin that we might confess and repent of it as an act of loving obedience to Him.
In examining ourselves for logs in our own eye we may experience the pain of realizing the depths of our own sinfulness in the situation. We tend to like to minimize this because it is easier for us to point at the sticks and specks in the eyes of the other person. We are uncomfortable with our weakness and our pride takes a pounding as we understand that we too still need the cross of Jesus Christ each day, every moment…Don’t you like to think at times that you have it all together outside of the cross and the grace of God? That is our ever-present downfall.
Because of the cross we are free to confess our sins to God (1 John 1:9), admit we have failed and receive the lavish grace that is ours in Christ. We are fully accepted by God in Christ and as our Advocate, He defends us before the throne day and night. Because of the cross we can face the ugliness within us knowing that in Christ we are fully accepted and loved by our merciful God. What a friend we have in Jesus!
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