I had a stone in my shoe. It was irritating me so much that if felt like a huge rock! I eventually took off my shoe and sock and I had to search for the stone. It was hardly bigger than a gain of sand! How could such a little thing cause so much trouble?
But that’s exactly what we allow to happen in our lives all the time. There may be a small incident. Something really irrelevant, and we blow it up out of all proportion so that it eventually becomes a mountain that we can’t get over.
Song of Solomon 2:15, Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.
There are little foxes running around all over the place. They whisper into your ear that that someone is doing something purposely to irritate you and you believe it and you react. There are so many instances in which we over react and take offence to such small things. Things that are not going to change the course of history.
Matthew 7 ;1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
I believe that the plank in our eye is causing us to think that the stone in our shoe is a rock. It causes us to think that the small molehills are huge mountains. We allow that plank to influence everything we look at. We even relish that plank because of the special vision it gives us. We might even believe that the plank makes us special because people always seem to be persecuting us. And we have heard that persecution happens when we do things right, haven’t we? Surely it must be persecution because we are always taking offence. We even do that thing that people who are having a really hard time do: when people ask how we are we assume a pained look on our faces and say something like: “Good under the circumstances;” or, “It’s not going to help to complain,” or even, “You don’t want to walk a mile in my shoes.” Our joy is gone. It’s been stolen by all these awful people who are envious of our plank!
That plank has a lot of different guises. It can be called critical, offence, judgmental or rejection. The plank also has a life of its own because it tells us what to think and how to react. It also grows. It started off like a tiny speck and grows into a plank and even a mountain. It feeds off of our good character and it tries to consume us with its demanding nature. The more we feed it by giving in to its demands, by seeing the specks in other eyes, the bigger and more demanding it gets. It will become the centre of our lives if we allow it to.
How can we be rid of the plank? Firstly, we have to recognize it. We have to realize that it is there and that it isn’t good for us. Then we have to humble ourselves before the Lord so that He can become the centre of our lives.
James 4:10, Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
1 Peter:5:5, Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Humility is the answer. We have to be humble and forget about any notions we might have that we are in any way better than anyone else. We have to become aware that we aren’t right all of the time and that God loves everyone equally, no matter how bed we think they may be. We have to practice that daily and allow God to do the surgery to remove that plank so that we can see clearly.