Making Room for Jesus

Moving Christ from the Margins to the Center of Faith

I’ve been reflecting again lately on the need for our faith in Christ to be the central and defining theme in our lives. So very often, faith can be very easily pushed to the margins. When this happens, faith becomes part of life’s periphery, rather than occupying the heart of our existence. We all have a […]

Jesus

“I Will Follow Jesus No Matter What the Cost.” Really?

When we make the declaration to follow Jesus ‘no matter what the cost,’ I wonder if we really know what we’re promising? I wonder if such a statement is oftentimes ‘made in the moment,’ without much thought as to what it actually entails? Do we really know how we will respond when faced with the most […]

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The Sawdust and the Plank

sawdust

Please allow me to present us with this challenge:

The next time an opportunity comes our way to critique another human being (which will surely come to all of us), let’s try to form a new habit.

Rather than speak of all the bad things they may have done, all of their flaws, mistakes and poor decisions (which we all have), think about a speck of sawdust and a plank. Then, remember Jesus’ use of these two common items in His teaching.

Remember the story?

The one being criticized had the speck of sawdust in their eye, while the one about to do the criticizing had the plank.

I can’t speak for you. But for me, I need to learn and re-learn this important life lesson anew every single day.

We all have flaws, idiosyncrasies, and personality traits that annoy the hell out of each other. That’s just the way it is.

However, we have two options to choose from. Life will always present us with options.

Sawdust or plank?

If ‘Jesus is Lord’ is the creed of our lives, than Jesus has the right to tell us how to live (thanks, Bruxy Cavey).

And, His way was to remember the sawdust and the plank.

Maybe – a better option is to remember the good traits and positive qualities that make that person great.

Maybe – a better option is to choose the way of love.

Maybe – a better option is to whisper a prayer for ourselves as we seek forgiveness for the thoughts we were processing. And, to whisper a prayer of grace, love and peace for the other person.

Rather than critique – let us form a habit of whispered prayer.

Think about this for a moment…

What if every time a negative thought came into our minds about another person, we chose to pray for them rather than to criticize?

I’m not a genius, but I think things would turn out very differently for the one praying, as well as for the one being prayed for, if we chose this option.

So…

Let us together form a new habit of remembering the sawdust and the plank.

Let us together form a new habit of whispered prayer.

Let us together choose the better way.

_______________________________________________________________

“Above all, love each other deeply, for love makes up for many of your faults.”

The Apostle Peter

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us.”

Jesus, The Lord’s Prayer

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following Jesus

Following Jesus centers on his story becoming our story.

Jesus (Re)Centered – A New Slogan and Focus for 2015

Since relaunching my blog in October 2014, I’ve made a number of significant changes that I’ve been very happy with. The overall format, style and level of interaction have been some of the best features of the new theme. Basically, everything is new! However, one of the things that I’ve carried over from the old […]

jesus recentered

Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech and Finding a Better Way

I was horrified, angry and sad when I heard about the recent events in Paris, France and the merciless killing of eight staff at the satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, along with two police officers, a maintenance worker and a visitor. I still find it difficult to believe how people can justify killing innocent people in […]

Charlie Hebdo
enemy love

The writing is on the wall.

We’ve tried everything else.

Enemy Love.

The Holy Spirit as the Catalyst for a Jesus-Shaped Life

When we sing lyrics that prayerfully asks God to make us more like Jesus, I wonder if we really understand what we’re asking for? I wonder if we fully grasp the implications of what our prayer entails? To be made more like Jesus is to made in his image. To reflect him. To allow the […]

Jesus-shaped life

Elevator People, New Eyes and Restored Images

I was standing in an elevator in a Las Vegas hotel and immediately looked to my right at the middle-aged man next to me. There was nothing peculiar about him that would make him stand out, but he did. For whatever reason, I immediately began to realize that this person has immense value and worth. […]

elevator