The Mote In Your Eye

The mote in your eye could be larger than you think.

Jesus warned us that the mote you see in someone’s eye is far less important than the beam in ours. We may think it is the other way around–that we are seeing a beam in their eye and only a mote in our own.

What he meant, of course, was that we waste a lot of time looking for the sins and shortcomings of other people. Our time would be better spent thinking about our own sins and shortcomings. We need to set our own hearts right. Worrying about others is what we call a non-starter.

In many conversations I’ve heard over the past several months, I think I’ve observed something interesting and instructive. Often when we are noticing the shortcomings or personality “flaws” of someone else, what we are really seeing are our own sins and shortcomings in others.

I wonder if that is borne out by research. Maybe that’s a good topic for an enterprising grad student.

The instruction I receive is to observe myself as well as others. You can, in a meditative state, actually project yourself outside your body and see yourself acting. Have you ever been in a situation where your temper got the better of you and then you see yourself from the outside and see the effect you’re having on others? I have. It is not pleasant.

It’s not pleasant because it is going to lead to a feeling and thought that I’m going to have to change. Not the others. Me. And I, like many people, hate to change–especially when I’m involved in some sort of self-righteous display of juvenile behaviour. 

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