WAKE FOREST, N.C., August 6, 2013 — The Bible describes one of the main problems with mankind: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Each day we all judge the motives and actions of others. Yet, we are not as introspective of our own personal actions and the impetus that drives the same.
Jesus spoke sternly about this issue when He said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7: 1-5)
You see someone with cardboard sign at a traffic intersection, and ignore his plea for money. Then, just as the traffic light changes, you notice a local Eyewitness News camera crew with its camera zooming in on your vehicle. You pull off to the shoulder of the road, and get out of the car. While facing the camera, you pull out a handful of ones and slowly hand it to the beggar. Before departing, you shake his hand (and possibly give a side hug with a gentle pat on the back). Your eyes are now on the news crew, and you look to see if they are moving toward your car to possibly do an interview.
This exagerated scenario is played over and over in thousands of small ways every day. We condition our actions on what’s in it for us. We do it with our coworkers, family, friends, and acquaintances in our social circles. The sad truth is, we are often the last ones to know that others can read through our hypocrisy. As St. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, Greece:
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7)
The key to letting our light shine before me is to do everything as if we were doing it unto the LORD Himself. That way, our motives remain pure, and we aren’t doing things for our own personal gain.
If we want to make an impact on those whose lives we touch, we should examine our own hearts to see where we may need an attitude adjustment. The lens through which we are viewed by others is:
“What you’re doing is shouting so loud, I can’t hear what you’re saying.” (anonymous)
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