Reflection for Monday 20th June 2022

The Rev’d Penny Body

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Reflection 20th June 2022
The Gospel – Matthew 7.1-5
7 ‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your neighbour “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.

When you’re driving on the motorway or a dual carriageway it is normal practice to look over your right shoulder before pulling out to overtake something, just in case there is something in your blind spot that you might not see otherwise. Looking in the mirror isn’t enough – though it helps.
And I was thinking, as well as having blind spots around the car, we probably all have blind spots in life more generally. Things we might not be aware of, but which can trip us up and cause all sorts of mayhem if we’re not careful.
Perhaps one way of thinking of the log in our eye is as a blind spot.
None of us would ever want to be a hypocrite – but probably there have been times when most of us have been. Sometimes it’s a case of “do what I say, not what I do” – or perhaps we might judge, criticise or take to task someone for doing something that we ourselves might be guilty of as well.
And perhaps sometimes that’s because we have a blind spot in our understanding of ourselves.
So, if you should ever find yourself criticising – even silently – or judging – or being annoyed by someone else’s behaviour – perhaps first – metaphorically – check over your shoulder to see whether there is anything in your blind spot before you pull out to overtake.
Perhaps your judgement of someone else is a reflection of something about yourself that you judge equally harshly? Perhaps you might find that the very behaviour you are criticising is something you have thought or done yourself? Maybe it would help to challenge your own perceptions and judgements before acting on them – are they real? Where do they come from? Do they accord with Jesus’s teaching?
So check your blind spot – and instead of your vision being obscured by the log in your eye – first look upon your neighbour – and yourself – kindly. Let your vision be softened by mercy and compassion – understanding, repentance and humility – with a prayer for forgiveness and new life – before you pull out to overtake. Amen.

Collect for the first Sunday after Trinity
God of truth,
help us to keep your law of love
and to walk in ways of wisdom,
that we may find true life
in Jesus Christ your Son. Amen