A couple weeks ago I read the following church article. A lady went to her Pastor and said “Pastor, I won’t be going to your church anymore.” The Pastor responded, “But why?” The lady said, “Ah! I saw a woman gossiping about another member; a man that is a hypocrite; the worship team living wrong; people looking at their phone during service; among so many other things wrong in your church.”
The Pastor replied, “OK. But before you go, do me a favor: take a full glass of water and walk around the church three times without spilling a drop on the ground. Afterwards, leave the church if you desire.” The lady thought: too easy! She walked three times around the church as the Pastor had asked. When she finished she told the Pastor she was ready to leave.
The Pastor said, “Before you leave I want to ask you one more question. When you were walking around the church, did you see anyone gossiping?” The lady replied, “No.” “Did you see any hypocrites?” The lady said, “No.” “Anyone looking at their phone?” “No.” “You know why?” “No.” “You were focused on the glass, to make sure you didn’t stumble and spill any water. It’s the same with our life. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we don’t have time to see the mistakes of others. We will reach out a helping hand to them and concentrate on our own walk with the Lord.”
This story is very emblematic of too many church members today, in that they have taken their eyes off of Jesus and subsequently they have become judge and jury of others. When we keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus and His Word, we will not only seek our own betterment with regards to our walk with the Lord – but we will also seek the betterment of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Notice the following words from Proverbs 4:20-27,
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”
The counsel provided here is that when we attend to the Lord’s Word, through taking time to read, meditate upon and obey the words of divine truth, we will be provided spiritual food, comfort and strength to walk in harmony with the Lord, as well as with our brothers and sisters in Christ. For you see, the farther we are from the Lord and His Word, we become spiritually distraught and depressed. When this occurs, we allow ourselves to be overcome with self-righteousness and we become judgmental; the real issue is not our “neighbor” – it is we “ourselves”. Thus, the only way to right our course is to seek the Lord’s forgiveness and to reset our eyes upon Jesus.
In Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus addressed this same issue when He stated,
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote [that is, a small chip or foreign particle] that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
Likewise, Jesus stated in Luke 6:37,
“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:”
When our own heart is right with the Lord, our eyes will be fixed upon Jesus and His Word, and our concern will be how He sees us – as opposed to how we see others. But our desire will be that our brothers and sisters in Christ will also experience the same joy and peace that passes all understanding when we truly walk in the ways of the Lord. So, what are your eyes fixed upon?