The tough part about the liberation of God is that it often looks like self examination. Being liberated from financial struggles, or sickness or a bad job is something that we can all easily celebrate. But what does it take for us to be liberated from something like anger? Jesus talks to this in the sermon on the mount:
“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. (Matthew 7:3-5)
Sometimes, we hold onto things that cause us pain, because it gets us something. Prejudices and resentments allow us to think we are better than someone else - but in reality that way of thinking holds us captive - it blocks our vision and causes us pain.
The hard work that Jesus calls us to in this passage is actually the work of our own liberation - as uncomfortable as it is. When we humble ourselves, and stop and think about our own lives - and discern God’s will for us, we are freed. We are liberated when we get the plank out of our own eye. Even though we often dread self examination - it frees us.
Don’t get me wrong, getting the plank out will be uncomfortable - and it will actually hurt - but this work will ultimately make room for us to better see God. It will free us from a burden of anger and judgement and allow us to be better followers of Jesus.
Please continue to think about God’s liberation, and the amazing ways it is trying to break through in our own lives. Let us pray and work to be more willing to look at the planks in our own eyes - so that we can better follow Jesus every day.
- Bob Brown, Pastor