Fresh Hope – 19th December 2017

Sometimes real life events that were embarrassing at the time, can turn out to be some of life’s funniest moments when recalling them some years later.

One such event involved my brother in law; he had ordered his favourite Christmas drink from Starbucks at our local shopping mall. He’d ordered it complete with loads of whip and caramel sauce on top.

As he was hurrying with it through the mall, he tripped and almost fell flat on his back. He just about managed to right himself, and more importantly save his drink from spilling.

No sooner had he composed himself, when he bumped straight into someone that he knew, but hadn’t seem for quite a while. The conversation lasted for several minutes as they caught up on the last few years. Eventually, as he got back to his car, he looked down and realised that all the whip and sauce from his coffee was actually displayed on the front of his coat. When he tripped he didn’t realise that his drink had shot out of the cup! He started to think about what everyone else was seeing and thinking that he’d passed, not least of all the person that had been standing right in front of him, chatting for several minutes.

I wonder if you are oblivious today of something that is blatant to everyone else, but you are completely unaware that you’re ‘wearing’ it wherever you go.

We can all be very quick to criticise other people’s faults and failings, but have you ever stopped to examine your own life?

In the Bible, Jesus explained this hard hitting truth in such a simple yet graphic way…

Matthew 7:1-5 ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. ‘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.

Are you walking around today with a critical, judgmental spirit, not realising that the plank in your own eye is far bigger than everyone else’s speck of sawdust?

Don’t be fooled that no one is noticing your bad attitude…it’s there on display for all to see.

In order to keep you from falling into the trap of feeling a sense of superiority over everyone else, be determined to ask a trusted friend/ leader/co-worker this simple yet effective question…’is there anything you need to say to me today?’

That one question, needn’t be asked everyday or even every week, but it should be asked at least once a year and should be asked to more than one mature person.

The answer will not only help you grow in character as a person, it will help you to appreciate that the first rule of leadership and life is self leadership.

What are you trying to hide and deflect about your own life simply by projecting that very same problem onto someone else?

Make a plan to have a healthy check up every morning.

Ask to Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out, and remember: check yourself before you wreck yourself. People won’t look up to you because you are always right, but they will look up to you because you’re always real.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.