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Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I was listening to the Bible today in the car, and I heard the “plank in your eye” verses. As a reminder:

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a 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.

Every time I hear or read this passage I think about this thing that happened years ago when I was in college. (By the way, this blog entry will mean nothing to you unless you know about the drama in my life in the last few years. Sorry! You can stop reading now if you wish.)

Anyway, I was 19 years old, and I was on this college retreat with the college group from my church. We were at this retreat center in the Hill Country, and there was this big open field that everyone was playing in (football, frisbee, etc.). So I was talking to my college pastor (who was later to become my pastor of 8 years), and he suddenly got this splinter in his eye. I ran and got him a bottle of water so that he could try to flush it out. It was really painful, and he couldn’t seem to get it out. Finally, he went back to his cabin, and he was able to get it out.

He mentioned how that would be a good sermon illustration (you know how pastors are always looking for real life stories to use in their sermons). So I was like, “Yeah, it would, with the whole ‘speck in your eye and how can get the plank out of someone else’s eye’ thing.”

And he was like, “No, I was thinking about how something so small could cause someone so much pain.”

‘Huh,’ I thought, ‘I like my idea better, but whatever,‘ and I dismissed it. So for years every time I heard or read that passage I would think about that story and how I thought he missed the poignancy of what happened to him that day in relation to the ‘plank’ verse.

So fast-forward 9 or 10 years, and the whole weird thing with us and him happened. And the same thing applies. He misses the point entirely (to me). He focuses on this small thing that caused him unbearable pain but misses the whole ‘plank in his eye’ thing.

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