Reflection on 1 Matthew 7:1-5:
“Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.’”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus once again demonstrates how well he understands human nature. When we argue, when we criticize, don’t we tend to focus on the other person’s shortfalls while ignoring our own? What would happen if we began by acknowledging our role in the problem, asking for forgiveness, then listening to the other person as we work together to find a resolution?
The next time you find yourself careening toward an argument, try stopping and first assessing your role in the dispute and what you have done to contribute to the problem. Then acknowledge it to the other person, and invite a discussion about what each of you can do to resolve it. Not only will the process be much more peaceful, but you might find yourself actually resolving the issue!
Here’s to removing our own wooden beams!