5You 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. 12So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. — Matthew 7:5,12
In Choosing Authenticity I we learned that while certain judgment is necessary, there are also certain kinds of judgment (on other’s motives and appearance) that Jesus has declared out of bounds. In Choosing Authenticity II, we faced the fact that we do need to judge ourselves more honestly, particularly if we want to help others.
This time we want to look again at Matthew 7:5 “You hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.” Here is the third step in choosing authenticity: pursuing authentic relationships. The choice isn’t to live with your log and avoid helping others with their “specks”—that’s not authenticity. We have struggles and so do the people around us. We’re designed to care for one another. Certain kinds of judgment are involved in that care and certain kinds just create more hurt. Learning to live authentically involves lessons in judgment, in non-judgment, and in gently touching people’s “specks.”
Nothing will help you be authentic more than spending time with authentic people. Try to avoid people whose actions contradict their words. Steer clear of religious, fake, phony, surfacey, gossipy, and fault-finding people. People who want to be like that, people who are determined to be like that, people who don't want to change, we've got to try to help them, but we don't have to spend time with them and make them our best friends. Spend time with people who are sincere and genuine and love God, and build relationships with people like that. They'll inspire you to do the same.
In Matthew 7:12 Jesus gave one of those golden words of wisdom we must use every single day: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” They don’t call this the golden rule for nothing! This is the key to authentic living. We know we have specks in our eyes all the time, and we appreciate people helping us with them—as long as the help comes with the kind of friendly humility that lets us know our helper has personal “log” experience!
— James MacDonald
Father, every time I come to Your table for Communion I realize is an opportunity to renew my commitment to authentic living by examining myself. I know there are usually logs and specks to locate. Thank You for the brothers and sisters in my life who encourage me to authentic living in You. And thank You for making it possible by dying on the cross for me and assuring me that the logjam of sin has been taken from my life. Thank You Jesus! Amen