Blinded by the Log
For many of us it seems like the world and society is unraveling before our eyes. Those who are the heroes and protectors of society are now attacked, made out to be the enemy and by many being shamed for doing what we ourselves would not do. And what’s worse, at least from my perspective, is we choose not to put ourselves in their shoes.
Monday morning quarterbacking is more the norm. He or she, should have done this, not done that, not said that, or should have said this…and on and on and on. We all know better than the person right smack in the middle of the very situation we are deciding to be judge and jury of.
Boy, we know it all. And best of all, we have never made a bad decision or judged a circumstance wrongly. Right?
I’m guilty of this and far more often than I care to admit. The words of the Apostle Paul come screaming to my mind when he calls himself the “worst of sinners” and how I can relate to that statement.
We are called to stand and defend truth, especially God’s truth. The part I catch myself forgetting to do is, applying is the love God calls us to in speaking and defending truth.
We are very good at bringing the truth, yet it’s too often seasoned with bitterness, not salty love.
Truth, even delivered with love will offend. We can’t control that, but we can control our tongues, with Gods graceful help. And we should!
So what’s the point
Luke 6:41 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” NASB, Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
What we suffer from is a vision problem. And it’s not because we need glasses or a change of prescription of your existing ones.
We have what I call “empathy blindness.” The symptoms are a critical heart or spirit, quick to judge others, we can do no wrong (in our own eyes) and every problem is someone else’s fault. Flat out lack of empathy for nearly anyone.
The most obvious symptom is the log in our eye, yet it would seem we couldn’t see the very thing that is sticking out of our face!
If you and I have any desire to lead well or be an encourager of anyone else, this is a malady we cannot have. Empathy blindness can be a form of personal toxicity. If you and I become toxic, we can be of no help to others.
Living in the presence of a critical spirit and mind is exhausting. Taps energy that we need for positive contributions to work, those we love, our marriages, children, ministry calling and so on. It’s a killer and robber of joy and peace.
Self-examination should be a daily process for us. I begin, most days, with prayer and self-examination before even stepping one foot out of bed. God is capable of revealing the logs in my eye like no one else. He’s never wrong and always loves.
When we own our own logs and realize the grace we’ve been shown it should lighten our burdens and give us an ability to empathize with others more readily.
Self-examination can be powerful tool to release burdens from our minds.
A great avenue for this is journaling. This activity when engaged in on a regular basis can provide great insight to your own thoughts, struggles and open up toxic thoughts and behaviors in our lives.
For deeper insights on Journaling listen to the podcast from Reinventure.me/24. Leary Gates & Armin Assadi discuss journaling and its benefits. Take a listen. You will be glad you did.
- Pluck the log from our own eyes. Confess where a critical spirit has sprouted and grown. Ask God to help us uproot the thoughts, emotions and behavior that come with it.
- As appropriate, apologize to anyone we believe we have acted less than honorably towards. Confession is good for your soul and anothers heart & mind.
- Pray for God to reveal any other areas that you may not even be aware are in need of log plucking.
- Begin a process of daily thankfulness. It’s impossible to grateful and critical or bitter at the same time. They are as light and dark. Neither can occupy the same space at the same time
- Journal daily. Set a regular time to do so. Just before bed is good time for me.
As I write this, I confess I’m fighting this un-empathic spirit. Removing a log or two from my own eye. Even putting these thoughts here for you to see, is a form of journaling. A form of purging the darkness of the critical mind and opening it up for the Light to enter.
Empathy is powerful. It builds up, not tears down. It produces grace, not condemnation.
It gives life and breeds a joyful heart. Gives opportunity to healing.
Empathy, you are welcome here. Come on in.
Dan Wobschall is the founder of Untangled Men & Marriage, a ministry focused on sexual integrity for men and marriages, where he speaks nationally on the dangers of pornography, spiritual servant leadership and the freedoms of walking in sexual integrity.
After having spent 32 years in the public safety arena, he was called into ministry as a Communication Coordinator of a local church serving in leadership areas of men’s ministry, publications, scheduling and more.
Dan has been with BoldPath Life Strategies team since 2013 as the leader of their Personal Coaching Practice, helping mentor individuals as they navigate their way in discovering the calling God has on their life.
Dan has recently joined the staff of Be Broken Ministries as Program Director and Mentor Trainer for the south eastern (Florida) United States. Be Broken Ministries home base is in Garden Ridge, Texas.
He and his wife Julie have been married for thirty plus year and are proud to have three adult daughters. Dan is currently pursuing a Biblical Counseling certification, as his hearts passion is to see the kingdom of God thriving in the lives of men and marriages.