We have a tear in our carpet near the top of our stairs. It’s the result of poor workmanship a few years ago when the carpet was installed. On our lounge room floor there are some stains as well. I cringe when I look at them and hope that they are not all that obvious. Some of our doors could do with a repaint, and some of our light fittings have been moved so there are some places that need to be filled and repaired.
If you came to my home you would notice all these things because I’ve pointed them out. Yet, there are things you would notice that I take for granted. The large open space layout, and the wall of glass at the rear of our house which looks directly into the trees behind. The trees which run along a creek you see from our house. No neighbours behind us, just trees and a creek, before the open spaces of the golf course behind our house. These are some of the elements which drew us to our house, but over time it can be easier to look at the minor stains and repairs, rather than the beauty we first saw.
It’s human nature to see the flaws more and more over time and forget the beauty.
In Matthew 7, Jesus is recorded as asking this question:
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.
Of course this is a passage where we are reminded to not judge others, especially when we are far from perfect ourselves. Yet, it also raises for me the question of why is it that we become so obsessed about the speck of sawdust? Why are we so obsessed about noticing the flaws, rather than enjoying the other person.
There is so much more to another, than the speck in their eye. Perhaps we need to start fixing our gaze on what is right and good about one another. This can be true of individuals and churches. Of course we will all see the flaws, but we can choose to love the beauty of what God is doing in the lives of others.
I would rather look at those trees and the creek than the stains in my carpet. I might just go home, sit out the back and enjoy the view. What are you going to focus on this week?