Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Pharisee Revealed - Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Plank Eye

I grew increasingly frustrated with people, especially those in places of authority, who I felt weren't doing their job the right way.  That should have been my first red flag.  I began to take pleasure (though I'd never have admitted it) in finding fault with teachers, ministry leaders and anyone else who 'let me down' by not living up to the standard I secretly set in my critical heart. 

One example:  I wrote a scathing letter to the dean of education at the university where I earned a degree, telling him that I thought the final exam for our program was basically a joke.  Of course I would never have had the nerve to tell him face to face - that way he couldn't defend himself or prove me wrong. 

Which brings me to an important truth about those of us who tend towards self-righteousness:  we can maintain control (very important) by devising a means of measuring and comparing that is completely up to us.  We make the rules.  And somehow, we always come out looking better than everybody else.  In our own tiny little hearts, at least.  We've put aside God's priorities of mercy and love because to face our own inadequacies and sin requires humility.  Real humility, not the kind you can pretend you have.

I'm glad there was never an illustrated sermon about what goes on in my mind and heart. 

How can you say to your brother,
'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,'
when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. 
Luke 6:42

I am an expert at detecting specks.  Finding fault.

I hate writing that.  I'd rather think of myself as loving and Christ-like.  I am not.

So the name for all of this judging and critical thinking is SIN.  And SIN has a way of separating you from God - 100% of the time.

I knew what I was doing, yet I felt helpless to change.  (Romans 7 - I could have written the part toward the end of the chapter.)  God put me in circumstance after circumstance after circumstance to get this thing dealt with.  But instead of recognizing what He was up to, I simply pointed to the unfair or difficult situations and found something wrong in someone else to focus on.

(I promise this story will get better... don't give up on me.)  

Check Jessica's blog where you can read some other good examples of how God is working faithfully to harvest lumber.


Des said...

still reading =) thanks for sharing what may not be so easy to share!

Jessica said...

Yay for lumber harvesting!

P.S. You pretty much just described me up there. ;)

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