Posts Tagged ‘a speck in another’s eye’

Matthew 7:1-5: The Spirit of Arrogance

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Written on June 6 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

This may be the most difficult challenge we have before us – the stepping away from judgmental thoughts, words and actions.  It is so easy for us to remind ourselves and others that only God can really know what is in our hearts and minds while at the same time thinking that we know more than God knows.  There is something in our human nature that assesses the faults in others more readily than in ourselves.  We have a way of explaining away or excusing our own behavior while at the same time criticizing that of others.

Jesus is recorded as giving us this advice in this Gospel and in Luke 6:37-42 where Jesus shows how well he knows us.  We want to remove specks from others’ eyes while ignoring the planks in our own.

From the CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE notes (Senior 17): “This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would hardly be compatible with vv 5 and 6, but against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one’s own faults.  Hypocrite: the designation previously given to the scribes and Pharisees is here given to the Christian disciple who is concerned with the faults of others and ignores his own more serious offenses”. 

Humility is the characteristic we most need to refine in ourselves if we hope to overcome “the spirit of arrogance”.  Christ himself exhibits this to a remarkable degree when we consider that he comes as God yet acts as a human.  He is able to calm storms on the sea and also gather the small children to himself.  He watches over the marginalized: widows and orphans, the blind and lame, the poor.  He admonishes those who take advantage of the underclass.  He calls all of us to service and justice.

Stop judging, that you might not be judged . . . The measure that you measure with is measured out to you.

How do we hope to be measured?  Do we stand up to our own scrutiny?  And in the moments of judgment that we experience, how do we measure up?

A re-post from October 13, 2011.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.17. Print.   

Image from: http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/UnmaskingHypocrite.html 

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Ephesians 4: Seek Ripening

Friday, December 1, 2017

Richard Rohr, OFM explains that we learn wisdom and have no need to judge others when we allow ourselves to ripen in God’s image, to mature in Christ’s love, to grow in the Spirit’s patience and perseverance.

“If we are to speak of a spirituality of ripening, we need to recognize that it is always characterized by an increasing tolerance for ambiguity, a growing sense of subtlety, an ever-larger ability to include and allow, and a capacity to live with contradictions and even to love them!” (Rohr 346)

Paul tells the Ephesians, and he tells us: And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature. (GNT)

God says: You have no need to judge one another. You have no need to point out specks on the eyes of others. You have no need to strain gnats before drinking from the cup I offer you. Do you see yourself swallowing camels or does the log in your eye keep you from discerning your own image? How do you represent me in the world? How do you act as my hands and feet, lips and eyes, heart and mind? My Spirit lives in you to bring you wisdom and patience. My Son lives in you to bring courage and persistence. I live in you to bring you strength and maturity.When you welcome ripening, you will suffer loss but this loss is a gain when you allow me to suffer with you. When you welcome maturity, your desire to protect yourself or to win at all costs will disappear because when you fully welcome me you will learn that with me a loss is a gain and a gain is a loss. When you ripen in me, you never grow old. When you mature in me, you never fear the woes of the world. When you grow in me, there is no limit to your patience and love. Come to me when you worry about gnats and camels, specks and beams, rights and wrongs. Come to me, and you will have need of nothing more, for my love alone is enough.

Today we God offers us an opportunity to seek growth, wisdom and maturity. God calls us to ripen in the Spirit, and to come to full season in Christ.

We turn to Luke 6:37-42 and Matthew 23 to remind ourselves of Christ’s warning against judging others.

Enter the words spiritual maturity into the blog search bar to explore other reflections on how we might grow in Christ.

Click on the spiritual path image for a Huffington Post blog post on signs of spiritual maturity. 

Richard Rohr, OFM. A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.

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