ripple effect: vacaville


d184 Salmon, oh, I Thought You Said Copperhead…
October 29, 2007, 3:05 pm
Filed under: god, jesus, matthew

Read Matthew 7:1-12.

1. Wow…this thing about judging is in the Bible? I thought it was Christians’ jobs TO judge. Isn’t that what we act like? (I’m being a little tongue-in-cheek here…)
2. Let’s stop and think about this: “the same measure” that I use to judge other people will be the way that I am judged by God. So, basically, if I judge by outward appearances, that means that God would judge me by my outward appearance– no excuses, no context, no benefit of the doubt. I look like an “unspiritual” sinner, so I must be one. That scares the crap out of me. God is gracious IN SPITE of the fact that He knows me. I can’t imagine how horrible it would be if God judged me like I judge people. Wow… This is something I need to work on. We’re all heroes and heroines of our own story, but we love to point the finger at the people we deem ourselves capable to judge.
3. Great word picture that Jesus gives us here. I’m nitpicking because “Julio” over here’s got a speck of dust in his eye. “Hey, Julio (down by the schoolyard), you stink for having that speck in your eye.” I can imagine my wife coming up to me and saying, “Um, Paul, you do realize that a 2 X 4 is coming out of your eye, right?” That would be quite comical. But, we do criticize people for outward appearances when we actually have something a whole lot worse than appearances going on in our hearts.
4. Jesus also says that our “speck” finding might be related to the fact that our vision is warped. In other words, “Maybe what you think you see isn’t really what you see. Has it ever occured to you that you might be viewing people through a ‘sinful’ lense?”
5. What’s going on with this stuff about giving dogs sacred stuff?
6. Why would you put pearls on a pig?
7. And what does this have to do with speck / plank removal or judging?

8. Ask for what?
9. Seek what?
10. Knock on what door?
11. I remember that time my brother asked me for a loaf of bread, and I gave him a rock to bite down on (good thing he had that plank in his, so he didn’t notice…).
12. Oh, yeah, and there was that time where he asked for a piece of salmon and I gave him a live copperhead. Oh, the holidays were hilarious in the Mannino household! He he he…
13. How about Jesus calling it like it is…He says we are EVIL. And, if we know how to give gifts to our kids, then don’t you think God (who is by far not even close to being evil) would know how to get the right stuff on our gift registry?
14. The golden rule: do to others as you would have them do to you. How sad, though, that in our culture, we are raising up generations of people who hate themselves (and could care less about treating others with any kind of dignity). How do we reverse that trend?

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4. another thing that was funny about the speck removal is that it says until it’s gone, don’t try to take the SPECK out of your brother’s eye. it’s really specific. like, just because the plank is gone, it doesn’t give you the right to go tearing down EVERYTHING wrong with him, you just get to help him with that speck. not that we’ll ever really have sin-free lives, so we’ll never really have the right to judge other people, right?

5-6. i love this. but i’m already commenting too much (i’m going out of order), so i’ll just say that i’ve been guilty of this, as well as 11-12.

13. ouch. it’s hard to picture ourselves as down right evil. it’s completely true, but it’s like when i call one of the boys selfish or unkind. they start crying immediately because it really hurts their feelings that i see them that way. some one told me, “you should say, rather, you are ACTING selfishly or unkind.” i guess it’s some sort of psychology thing. but Jesus doesn’t phrase it that way to spare our feelings, he straight up calls us out like it is. funny.

Comment by Atom Eve

You know, that’s an interesting question. I think a lot of it has to do with time and motives. Time spent dealing with our own sin is important because it’s pretty unwise to go in like gang busters trying to convict other people of a sin that you haven’t spent much time “putting to death.” Motives are important, because, I do believe that there is a time when a person is called to “remove the speck” from other people’s eyes. Jesus calls us to remove specks. Now, you throw in the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins (making us sinless); and I can’t really say. How do you “deal” with the plank in your eye? You don’t. Jesus does. So…how do you go about removing the speck from other people’s eyes? Maybe that’s Jesus’ work too. But, then again, doesn’t Jesus use people as His ambassador? Also, I know that there is a big difference between judging and discerning.

Yeah, I can understand how “labeling” a kid when they mess up could be bad. I have heard the same about saying what they did was wrong and not that they were wrong. It’s tough, though. Most kids, when they get an F don’t think, “I failed on this project”…They think, “I’m a failure.” And then Jesus goes straight to the truth like that. I think the only way my mind can handle that is when I understand that He did something about my “evil.” So…how can I get mad at Him for saying what I was?

Comment by supermannino




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