Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Removing the blog, er... LOG from my own eye :-)

There has been some teaching at my church that is making me itch! I don't like being told what to do, so fear of this teaching leading to that is causing me to feel very critical. (scritch-scratch!) I don't want to back away simply to avoid controversy, but I also don't feel anywhere near equipped to be a spokesperson for a Biblical cause.

My first step is to pray to God to reveal to me where I am wrong and to grant me patience and a listening heart.

Is this the way you interpret Luke 6:42, i.e., removing the plank from your own eye prior to removing a speck from another's? A wise elder woman taught it to me this way several years ago when I thought this meant I had to be blameless before I helped another sister in sin. She told me I should wait to speak until God reveals all the incorrect assumptions I've made (mostly by listening both to the other party and the Word) then to speak, but with a "listening heart."

I stood to speak at the first lesson this week, but a little tug in my memory brought me back to the words of this woman and I simply asked a harmless clarifying question instead.

Hopefully I am completely wrong in my own understanding of this scripture or in my understanding of their teaching - and all my worry is moot. ;-)


Lynne said...

Yep, that makes sense to me.If we had to wait till we were perfect, we'd never be able to say anything!!

Wait on God to clarify your thinking, and avoid a spirit of self-righteousness that demonises and puts down anyone we disagree with.It helps with that to use "I" statements rather than "you" statements, e.g something like "I can't accept that because I see it this way' or "I have trouble reconciling what your saying with ..."(some scripture or whatever) is a lot less self-righteous and blinded-by-my-own-ego than "You are wrong"

Just what works for me ..

mibman said...

Too few, challenge teachings they feel to be incorrect or simply, not Biblically based when their motivation is to simply better understand or highlight an exception possibly not considered by those teaching ...

Too many challenge from the standpoint of unhealth; being desireous to maintain some traditional or personal view ...

Completely appropriate to consider your own health & motivations before addressing or challenging some assertion ... while knowing you're never going to enter such a challenge free of flaws or personal interests.

I really don't know you ... & would still be hard-pressed to see you allowing yourself to challenge based on 'mostly' selfish motivations.

mibman said...

... all of this shared by a man often attempting to clear a forest from his own eyes. :-) - tim

Milly said...

My first step is to pray to God to reveal to me where I am wrong and to grant me patience and a listening heart.

Hard steps but good ones.

dorsey said...

"If we had to wait till we were perfect, we'd never be able to say anything!!"

Would that be the end of the world? Personally, I think that's the point. Jesus had some interesting things to say about judging each other. I like the verse where He said that the only person capable of determining whether a servant is performing adequately is his/her master.

Nevertheless, most people interpret that passage in such a way that they still get to speak their mind at some point. I think the only way that can be justified is in the context of close relationship.

Another Voice said...

Thank you, Lynne, those suggestions are very helpful.

If it works for you... :)

Another Voice said...

Tim, you flatter me! I do almost everything on "mostly" selfish motivations. ;-)

Another Voice said...

Yes, Milly, it is very hard - not much success in doing it yet.

Another Voice said...

Dorsey, thanks for the poke in the eye. :)

"I think the only way that can be justified is in the context of close relationship."

I agree, and might I add that although I fail to keep this in mind I also think I should be ASKED my opinion first in most situations before I open my mouth. My problem is when someone asks, I open the flood gates of my mouth without first giving it much thought. I proceed with many assumptions because I can be rather adept with the psycho-babble that works well in the world in a general way, but not with any individual child of God in a specific way. Does that make any sense?

Rose~ said...

I have always thought that scripture meant that our judgement is often clouded by our own sins and so if we want to help others out of sin, we have to examine and put out our own sin.

Like if a brother tells another brother they are a heretic and disobeying the Bible when he is actually disobeying the Bible in a worse way by not loving the brethren. That is an example that recently came to mind. I often find examples in my own life of doing this as well.

Rose~ said...

I do appreciate the caution that you have exercised in speaking up at your church but I also think that you should say your peice if you find a clear conscience to do so.

Another Voice said...

Yes, Rose, I agree. In my opinion, that is part of discovering in what way I am wrong in the specific issue - whether scripturally, assumptively or in my reaction altogether. All of those things can keep me from seeing the situation clearly.

When I've been put in situations of debate, I'll really be counting on the HS to help me determine where the other person is wrong - when I should be focusing on the HS to tell me where I AM WRONG. I think this focus would keep me from being that person you've described.

Oh, and I don't yet feel I have a clear conscience to speak up, but thank you for the encouragement for when/if I do!

karen said...

It's hard to speak up in church situations; if it's not coming from a place of love (and gentle rebuking can certainly come from there) and has "taken you over" as from the HS; best not say anything.
If I speak from my self, my foot generally fits nicely in my mouth; but after prayer, quiet, and consideration, the HS is spot on.

Sanctification said...


Haven't seen you around lately, miss you, thinking of you!