Friday, October 30, 2015

Telephone Poles and Toothpicks...

  Last night I made the conscious decision not to blog.  In part I was exhausted from my day of travel and ministry, and partly I just felt like it wasn’t worth it to just put out a blog, to put out a blog.  Plus I kind of felt the freedom to just let it go for one day because of the blog post “Failing” by Micha Murray that I read a few days ago…so there’s that too.
  Anyway, something I have been noticing about myself lately is that I tend to be annoyed and frustrated with other people, and just get fixated on what I perceive they have done “wrong” instead of actually taking the time to look into my own heart and discover why this bothers me so much and what I can do to change my reaction.
  This morning I spent quite a bit of time journaling about it… about why I am like this and what’s really going on in my heart… and I realized that the reason why I fixate on other people’s “issues” is because it’s so much easier then looking at my own!
  The Bible talks about trying to take the speck out of other people’s eyes while we have planks in our own.  In my mind, I always picture myself trying to get a toothpick out of my friend’s eyes while I have a telephone pole protruding out of mine.  What always ends up happening in this mental picture of mine, is that I end up hurting the other person and myself…. Which is pretty much what happens in real life.
  So that begs the question… how do we get the telephone pole out?  And is it even possible to do so? And if by chance I am even capable of doing so, does that mean that I should then even go back and try and pick at that toothpick in my friends eye?
  Honestly, I don’t know that it’s possible, this side of heaven.  As much as I believe that we are new creations when we come to Christ and thus we have a new nature, in my day to day life I struggle to constantly live out of that “newness”.  In fact most times I struggle to believe that it’s possible for anyone (outside of Jesus) to live a sinless life.
  Maybe that makes me a bad Christian.  Maybe that shows the cracks in my own spiritual armor or at least my understanding of God and my relationship with him.  But… it’s also true, and maybe the best way to begin working that pole out is just to be honest…. To admit the truth and to be real.
  I also think that pulling a telephone pole out of your eye, or even having it removed “gently” by a surgeon, is going to cause some pain, it's also going to take some time to recover and it will even bring about some changes in lifestyle.  None of that is easy….it takes a conscious decision or decisions, it takes being willing to change, it even takes the ability to sit with the pain (at least for a bit).
  But I also think, like with any type of surgery a person would have, it’s necessary…and it’s worth it…. at least in this moment is sure seems like it would be.

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