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Friday, August 12, 2016

Today’s Reading | Luke 6:39–45

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. (NRSV)

We live in a world where competition and comparison are constantly in our faces. We hear about it all the time on the news, especially when it comes to sports and politics. It’s no wonder we start to do the same in our personal relationships. Think about how often you talk about an acquaintance and call out the faults or shortcomings you’re quick to notice after brief encounters. It seems harmless.

Now think about how often you point out those same faults or shortcomings in your close friends and family members. The people who know what’s on your heart and have seen you in your shining moments but also in your darkest days. They can probably point out your faults and shortcomings just as quickly.

In today’s Gospel from Luke, we are reminded that our role as disciples is to introspectively consider how we lead and guide others, before judging the actions we deem unsuitable. As Jesus teaches, if we fail to consider where we ourselves can grow and remain free from sin, we will simply model the same behavior we critique in others. This leads to mutual failure and suffering.

As Christians, we must challenge ourselves to speak the best of others and see the best in others. We hope all those we encounter will do the same for us. This challenge requires us to be humble and grounded in a faith where we commit to continual growth and mercy toward one another.

God of mercy, grace me with a humble heart and open arms. Guide me to love my neighbor and seek love and kindness above all else. Amen.

Written by Jackie Lorens, Director,
Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center

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