August 20, 2017

Reading Matthew 7:1-5 (NRSV)

Jesus asks why we criticize a speck when our own problem is a log. We tend to be most critical of others where we are most at fault!

Perhaps that’s because criticisms are based on comparisons. It’s hard not to compare ourselves with other people. It’s easy to feel superior or inferior.

The internet and social media facilitate comparisons with more people–and can make a complaint or critical comment go viral in minutes.

We might be alone when we make a comment–as if it were just a private thought–but with one more keystroke, all our contacts know it. And the nasty comments of people all over the world are as close as my electronic monitor or news feed.

Studies have shown that body dissatisfaction increases with social media viewing in young girls and women. What about life dissatisfaction for the rest of us? Do comparisons with our global neighbors make us more critical of ourselves and others?

Jesus sees us clearly; there is no log in his eyes. His message is that God loves us, even with all our faults. No comparisons. Just love. And support in dealing with our own logs.

Let us pray. O, God, thank you for loving us even with all our faults. Help us to attend more to removing the log from our own eyes than to criticizing the speck we see in our neighbors. In the name of Jesus, who sees us clearly. Amen.

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