Are you new here? Well let me explain what this is all about: Weekly Blessings is a series here on The Pen & the Needle where I or a special guest comes and posts something that God has put on our hearts to share with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! We're here every Sunday, so feel free to browse through past posts or return next week for more inspiration!
Yesterday I was reading a post on Crosswalk by Mary Southerland called "A Spiritual Detox." I'm not going to go into detail about the entire post, but I wanted to touch on one section of the post where she was talking about her daughter:
I was finishing up in the kitchen when our daughter came running in, crying and holding a paper towel over her eye. “What happened, honey?” I asked. “I don’t know, Mom. We were playing and something flew in my eye. It really hurts!” she cried. I looked at our son who explained, “We were having a mulch war and Danna got some in her eye.” Since I wear contacts, I always carry saline solution and thought that would take care of the problem. I couldn’t see anything in Danna’s eye, but after washing it out, she said it felt better. As the day wore on, it was obvious that something was still in her eye as the pain increased and her eye began to swell. We called a friend who is an optometrist. He dropped by to take a look at Danna’s eye. After a quick exam he said, “She does have something in her eye, but I’ll need to see her in my office to remove it.” He applied numbing drops, an eye patch, and said he would meet us at his office in the morning. Even though I still couldn’t see anything in our daughter’s eye, I knew it was there.
When we arrived at the doctor’s office, he went to work and within seconds handed me a tiny speck of mulch nestled on a tissue. I could barely see it. But Danna blinked a couple of times and grinned. “It doesn’t hurt any more.” I remember wondering how something so small could cause so much pain.
Sin is like that. We may view it as nothing more than a little lie or an insignificant transgression, but it was enough to send Jesus to the cross. If we refuse to deal with sin, it will cause great pain and damage in our lives.
I don't know about you, but this section of her post really spoke to me. No matter how you slice it, sin is sin, and Jesus died for all of it. It is up to us to work on every issue we have - even the little things.
People as a whole are quick to judge and categorize people based upon the severity of what they do. Our criminal justice system classifies people according to severity crime, right? Infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Then we have classifications under those classifications - white collar crimes, blue collar crimes, ect. Then don't get me started on all of the different kinds of crime there are - theft, burglary, rape, murder, arson, and so on.
But at the end of the day, no matter what crime you commit, what really happens? You get punished! Whether it be a fine, jail, or execution, you're going to be punished! That's kind of what Mary is saying in the post! God doesn't look at the kind of sin - He just acknowledges that it is a sin!
Matthew 7:3-5 - And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
Still not following me? Let's look at it this way: say you and a friend of yours are standing at judgement. Your friend robbed a house and you stole your uncle's favorite shirt - neither one of you repented. Who do you think will get into Heaven?
Answer: neither one of you! You both stole something and didn't ask for forgiveness! God doesn't look at it like, "Oh, well it was just your uncle - it's a family thing! But this guy stole from a stranger! That's much worse than what you did!" God instead says this, "You both stole something and didn't ask me for forgiveness when you had the chance. You both have to suffer the consequences."
Now do you see what I'm saying?
Which leads to another point: if someone messes up, don't be so quick to judge - you could have easily made that same mistake or been CAUGHT making that same mistake!
One of the examples I see most often is when a young, unmarried girl reveals she is pregnant. So many people are quick to judge her and make assumptions about her character, which is totally wrong and not Christian-like. Of course it's okay to be disappointed or feel sorry for her, but we are not to make her feel like less of a person who make her out to be a bad person. And I hate when people who had their children the same exact way try to judge someone for it! If anything, we should be praying for that girl and letting her know that God loves her still. But we don't do that - we whisper amongst ourselves and cause that girl to fall away and stray even further from God. And who do you think it going to blamed for that at judgment? *stares at you*
This concept was so important that God mentioned it more than once in the Bible, saying basically the same thing:
Luke 6:40-42 - “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
So I just want to encourage you guys (myself included) to not worry about everything everyone else is doing for a while - look at yourself and make sure that your house is in order. Ask God to reveal yourself to you and show you the things that you need to work on. Trust me, it's scary, frustrating, and offensive at some times, but it is well worth it in the end.
You may not have a log in your eye, but even the specks can cause you to miss Heaven!