Tag Archives: addiction

What’s that in your eye?

Mt. 7:3-4: “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?”

Have you ever wondered if the speck we are seeing in someone else’s eye is really a reflection of the plank in our own eye?  Perhaps the shadow of our plank is reflecting off the surface of their life.

It is so easy for us to notice the imperfections in others.  Sometimes I think we even create issues that aren’t truly there, as a result of our own guilty consciences or our own inner feelings.

A simple example of this is a tired child who cries over the unfairness of everything.  The real issue isn’t that everything everyone else is doing is actually unfair.  The real issue is their own plank:  they are tired and need to rest.  The specks they are seeing in everyone else are only a reflection of their own plank.

The examples of planks grow more serious as we grow older:  jealousy, insecurity, dishonesty, adultery, deception, addiction, two-facedness, etc.  All can result in an hypocrisy in our lives…we have these things within us, but harshly project them onto others or judge them in error, when what we “think” we see in them is really the reflection of our own internal issues.

Has anyone else noticed this?  This morning I read John 8 about the adulteress that was caught in the act and brought to Jesus for stoning. Certainly she had sinned and broken the law, but what Jesus asked her accusers was, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

It is so easy for us to see the sins in the lives of others, and sometimes, perhaps the sin we see is real, but we really need to worry more about our own issues.

When we notice specks in the lives of those around us more often than we notice them in ourselves, it is likely that we are actually carrying around a plank.  Our plank is probably reflecting off of them and showing something that isn’t even there.

If that is the case, we need to seek the Lord’s counsel and help for our own sins and issues, and pray that the Lord would help us see others through His eyes of love.  When we submit to the Lord and allow Him to change us, the Word says that we will see clearly to remove the speck from our brother’s eye.  (If it’s our place to do so…and if there truly is one)

I hope that today, like me, you will bear with the specks on those around you, and ask God to remove the planks from your own life.  What a happier environment we will create as we do so.

Trying not to leave splinters,



Raging against wise judgment

Pr. 18:1:  “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.”

Yesterday I spent some time at a rebound center for men struggling with addictions and homelessness.  This verse reminds me of them.  The men there have chosen to voluntarily enroll themselves in an intense 90-day program recovery program where they submit themselves and their desires to another’s authority for 90 days.  These adult men enter into an environment where they become fully accountable to others, including curfews, breathalyzer tests, drug screens, group sessions, chapel services, and work assignments.

These men have chosen not to isolate themselves in their out-of-control cycles, but to use wise judgment and allow themselves to be taught and trained in ways to break out of these cycles.  Instead of raging against wise judgment, they choose to seek the wisdom of people who are offering help.  It is good, too, as this center logs a completion rate that is twice the national average.

The difference between this place and the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program?  Jesus Christ.  They call upon the grace and power of the Lord, Jesus Christ.  God’s grace is the hope to which they cling, and they understand there is one more powerful than any addiction or circumstance in their lives.

One of the verses I saw on the wall was 1 Tim. 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”  God’s grace is for all of us.  Each one of us sins, but that is exactly why Christ Jesus came into the world.  He loves us and offered salvation to us all on the cross at Calvary.

If you find yourself in a cycle of brokenness, depression, oppression, addiction, harmful habits, powerlessness, shame, inferiority, or any other thing, you will find grace at the cross of Jesus.  There was a song we sang when I was growing up that said, “There’s room at the cross for you.”  God is just waiting on you to run to Him for help.  Call upon the name of the Lord.  He is faithful to hear our prayers.  He will be a shield for you, a Defender, a strong tower, and will give the help you need.

Do not isolate yourself, but like the men at this recovery center, allow yourself to submit to wise judgment.  You may not need to enroll at a recovery center, but maybe you need accountability to or training from another.  Do not isolate yourself from the Lord, either, which is so easy to do in times of trouble.  Cry unto the Lord and He will hear you and lift your head out of shame and cycles that bind you.  He is your Creator, your Sustainer, your Savior, and your Deliverer.  There is room for you.