February 2020 - The Pastor’s Creel
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5).
German/Dutch Augustinian monk and spiritual writer of the fourteenth century, Thomas á Kempis, wrote, “Take pains to be patient in bearing the faults and weaknesses of others, for you too have many flaws that others must put up with. If you cannot make yourself as you would like to be, how can you expect to have another person entirely to your liking?”
We all have weaknesses and faults, and we all do things that irritate others. We know this to be true and yet, we do little about it. As a matter of fact, we tend to deflect by pointing out the faults of others. Moreover, we often go as far as to try to change an-other’s unlikable behavior. But, if we cannot fix our own faults, what makes us think we can change another person? We desire others to act a certain way but fail to correct our own faults. So, what we can’t or won’t change in ourselves, we should endure patiently in others until God wishes it to be otherwise. Perhaps this is God’s way of teaching us loving patience. Therefore, we should pray, asking God to help us to bear with others. For God has ordered things so that we should bear each other’s burdens.
None of us is perfect or without fault. No one is without temptation. No one is wholly self-sufficient. No one is wise enough on their own. Instead, we must encourage one another, pray for one another, and teach one another with love.
As we enter the month of February, when we celebrate love, let us work to better our own shortcomings and allow God to work in the other, all the while bearing one another with patience and love as Christ has loved us.