I often wonder about the view from where I sit. I use to, in the past, sometimes more often than I should have, worry about the view that others had when they saw me. Not particularly healthy I know. But it’s been part of this ones life journey and sometimes our attitudes directed at others, and sometimes how we perceived others attitudes, are thought through way too much. I am thankful for God’s guidance, correction and tools to better manage this as I travel now. And His mercies that is new every day. Every single day!
“Forest” expresses the many areas of our lives that need working on in our individual journeys. We don’t get to chop the last tree down until our journey is over. Each tree an aspect in which we are grown through pruning, through hurt, through healing and brought through our struggles into times of understanding, training and education. It is only as we learn to deal with each of our own stumbling blocks, our planks, our logs, our trees, our “forest”, that we are then experienced enough to walk alongside others to assist in their journey through the grace we were shown in our correction, healing and education. When we ‘can’t see the forest through the trees’, how much more do we see others mistakes, judge others, insist we’re right and others are wrong. Luke 6 and Matthew 7 warns us that how we judge another person is how we will be judged. How I judge, how you judge, how we judge each other, the same measure will be our judgement.
How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the 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. ~NIV
…2For with the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3Why do you look at the speck or sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay not attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is still a plank in your own eye? ~NIV
The Message calls the verse from Matthew 7:3-5 ‘A simple guide to behaviour’ and Says it better than me.
“7 1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.” ~The Message
It makes me pause; it makes me stop and drop to my knees. We have forests of thoughts, emotions and unplanned life stuff that will lead us to distraction from the truth. It will lead us into bitterness that robs our joy. But worse than this, it robs us of seeing others as Jesus sees them through the grace we are shown daily. Why is it that I can look at another person and be critical? If I have not walked a mile in their shoes, how on earth, why on earth do I think I know what they should be doing, or comment on how they are doing their journey. It says more about what needs to change within me than what I see wrong with the other person. And I am reminded that iron sharpens iron and we can sharpen each other when our focus is on God’s truth spoken over each of us and not the critical spirit that the enemy uses to divide God’s people, all people, from each other and from God.
How can we sharpen another if we don’t allow the transforming power of Jesus to sharpen us first?
Forest reminds me of where I have been, were I am and where my journey will lead me to. If I am brutally honest with myself there is a forest in my eye.