For the last few weeks I have been trying to build some upper body strength. Attempting to hold a plank for any length of time and/or doing girly push ups has been an eye-opener as to how much work I have ahead of me. It’s kind of ironic that I have to strengthen my upper body with planks while simultaneously God is speaking to me about the planks (logs) He mentions in His Word:
Matthew 7:3-5 ESV
3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
I have been in the process of removing a few logs (planks) from my own eye so I can see to help a few young people in my life. One of my planks lately has been my lack of ability to properly organize my time for maximum efficiency. As I have been struggling with my own highly creative child to be more organized and time efficient, I hear God whispering that I need to get the plank out of my own eye first. Then she will follow suit.
A wise woman told me a long time ago that the things we see in others lives that annoys us is the very thing that God is trying to first work out of our own lives. This is not always the case, but I have found the concept to be true on most occasions. There are many spiritual laws that God put into the world when He created it. I think what Jesus said about judgement and planks is one that even many non-believers recognize. Notice what the first two verses in Matthew say right before verses 3-5 printed above:
Matthew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
So I ask you this question? What is irritating you in your spouse, children, co-workers, church members, etc? Could it be that if you got honest with God that He could be whispering to take care of a similar plank in your own eye first? When working/interacting with others, it is so vital to come from a place of love and humility. It’s so much easier to do that when we are aware with of any planks in our own eyes.
I must be willing to get my own challenges worked out before I can really begin to be an example (especially to my own child). God cares about the details and He is getting to the heart of the matter. When I see all of this from God’s perspective, I am quickly motivated to get the log out of my own eye. This is the only way I have the ability to reach over to remove the spec in another person’s eye. Many times we are to just worry about the log in our own eye and while we are minding our own business, God is taking care of the other person’s spec at the same time.
Physical planks, much like the picture of the guy holding that position on the floor in the picture above, are a lot like the planks (logs) the Lord was referring to. When we first take responsibility for our weaknesses, it’s not comfortable. Sometimes it’s painful, (glad you couldn’t see me the first two weeks of doing planks and push ups). After some time, we begin to really get to the heart of the matter. I am moving past pain to realizing how beneficial upper body strength can be. As I came flying in the front door the other day from a quick two mile run and dropped to the floor for push ups and planks, I realized that they are becoming much easier! Now as I press in with God about the little details of life, that is becoming easier too and you know what….my child is automatically following behind me.
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.