As I opened the rear driver’s side door of my car I noticed several scratches in the white paint. I was instantly frustrated and sad. I try so hard to keep the car clean and in good condition here in Brazil, but the odds are against me.
I began a deep search of my memory trying to remember the most likely place where someone could have deliberately scratched my car.
My mind centered on the garage and the hyperactive kids in my building.
I shared my story with several people and my wife heard the story at least three times. I received a lot of comfort and sympathy. Even so, I really wanted to find the uncaring, guilty party.
Several days later I was in a hurry and I was putting my heavy, multi-zipper backpack in the door next to the scratches. I heard the sound of metal scraping metal. I looked at the old scratches and saw a new one that had just appeared.
I was the guilty person! In my daily haste I was the hyperactive, uncaring person who was scratching my car.
I immediately thought of Jesus’ words.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5
The danger of being a victim and being filled with self-pity is that we miss the chance of being cured of our own sins against ourselves. If we are not trained to see and be cured of our own errors and unthinking actions how can we ever expect to get it right judging others.
The perfect, ageless relevance of Jesus is amazing.