Once Autumn rolls around, my kids have one thing on their mind…
Seriously, they start making their Christmas list as early as September. I always find that comical because they end up misplacing their list within a matter of 20 minutes, so they’re making lists nearly twice a day. I know Garrett will be able to spell “Bakugan” in his sleep any night now.
The other day, Garrett asked me for Santa’s phone number. Thinking he wanted to make another list, I started getting out the pencils & paper. However, he quickly corrected me & said, “I think Santa needs to know that Grady’s been naughty.”
I almost laughed out loud! Garrett constantly has his eye on his younger brother’s behavior. Just recently, I came across this little gem from Garrett…
Ha – I think he’s beginning to give new meaning to the term “big brother.”
After my amusement died down, I did think of this verse:
3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye[c] when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend,[d] ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
~ Matthew 7:3-5
I often struggle with finding balance when it comes to this verse.
If I keep my eye focused on myself then I run the risk of crossing the line into self absorption. And I’ve been there! I admit, there have been times when self absorption nearly consumed me. Not self absorption in the sense that I thought I was something great or wanted people to notice me. But, self absorbed in a way where I became so focused on my own circumstances that I failed to notice anything or anyone around me – even occurrences in my own home.
On the other hand, when I turn my eye to others, I run a risk of crossing another line…judgment. And I’m embarrassed to say, I’ve been there too. Do you know what struggles I can identify the quickest in another person? My own. And when it comes to another person’s “speck,” I bet you can guess which ones I find tempting to judge. Yep, a struggle that I too may wrestle with.
I do think we have an obligation to each other when it comes to accountability, but I’ve learned that before I “point out” anything in another person, I need to first ask myself, “Am I really trying to help or am I using this as some backward way of dealing with my own issue?” I guess for me, I try to focus not so much on the action described in the verse, but the motive behind my action.
So, I walk the line as best I can, trying not to lean too much to either the right or left. I keep enough attention on myself to make sure my heart is in check, yet still look out for those around me. The road’s not always easy. And I do believe we need to help each other find our way through life. We all encounter various stumbling blocks that cause us to slip or stray. However, those are the moments when we extend a loving hand to help each other up.
And that’s what I told my son. Yes, he needs to keep a watchful eye on Grady. But, he needs to watch so he can help his brother learn to make better choices…not help him make it on the naughty list. And also, he needs to remember to keep his own behavior in check…because his mommy is watching too. 😉