A teacher was preparing his students to receive Confirmation in his church. So he invited in a friend of his to speak to the students about the positive aspects his Christian faith, the one that he practiced. He wanted his friend to touch on how his faith helped him determine difficult business decisions and set the right priorities in his family.
After a while some of the students began to lose interest in what he was saying. In an effort to keep their attention, he suddenly stopped, pointed at one boy and said, “Do you know why people call me a Christian?”
The startled teenager sat up and replied, “Is it because they don’t really know you?”
Hypocrisy. We all know what it looks like. We see it in the people around us. We find it on the news everyday. We cheer today when Jesus in the Gospel (Luke 6:39-45) speaks out against it. Jesus gives three independent teachings and uses hypocrisy to thread them together.
Can the blind lead the blind and not have both of them fall into a pit?
Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye and ignore the beam in your own eye?
You will know them by the fruit they produce. Are figs gathered from thorns or thistles? A God Flash
At least 19 times in the Gospels Jesus takes on people whom he calls hypocrites. The Greek word is taken from the acting stage. “Hupoctites” are actors or actresses. They put on a show, supposedly for the benefit of others. They wear costumes and masks, so their appearance does not reflect who they really are. There is a big difference between their outward appearance on stage and who they actually are when nobody is looking.
Did you ever notice when somebody criticizes you, the criticism has more to do with him or her than it has to do with you? Most likely they are throwing their own baggage at you rather than carrying it themselves.
There was a woman who went through some personal difficulties. She said: “When I went through my divorce, the people who gave me the hardest time were the ones who were living in their own troubled marriages. On the other hand, the people who gave me the most support and saved me were those who knew what it was like to go through a divorce. They helped me come through it alive.” A God Provide
Jesus says to us today: “Take the log out of your own eye. Keep your grubby fingers out of the eyes of others. Deal with your own blind spots.”
One day Snoopy was sitting on the roof of his doghouse. Charlie Brown came up and said, “I hear you are writing a book on theology. I hope you have a good title.”
Snoopy replied, “I have the perfect title.” Then he leaned over his typewriter and typed, “Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong?” A God Alert
That’s the question for everyone of us to ask ourselves again and again if we are ever going to get rid of the lumberyard in our own eyelashes. Jesus uses this ridiculous image to make his point. None of us have a problem looking at another person and seeing their faults.
Snoopy did have the perfect title for his book on theology: “Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong?” That is a book we all need to get busy to read or to write this Lenten Season!