Thursday, November 3, 2011

Is Your Vision as Good as You Think?

Of all the types of injuries that I witnessed in 20+ years of practice as a trauma nurse, I’d have to say that a penetrating wound to the eye is one of the most disturbing. I can’t even begin to describe the fear this injury creates for the patient and the challenge it presents to the nurse! The pain is typically excruciating and the patient often doesn’t want anyone to even come close to it! For the inexperienced nurse, however, the first reaction is to do anything to remove the foreign body in order to relieve the patient. It must be learned that this can lead to further damage and possibly permanent complications!

Recently, Gary and I felt led by the Lord to confront a brother and sister about some issues in their lives that were hurting our relationship with them. While the issues have been long standing, we realized that we needed to wait on the Lord for His timing, His direction and His purification in us lest we’d create more injury to and potentially permanent complications in our relationship with them. We certainly don’t want that!

While it may be very uncomfortable to be affected by sin and faults in others,
trying to address that before dealing with our own hearts
is not only hypocritical, it can be disastrous!
In our flesh, we all tend to look upon the sins and faults of others,
while overlooking our own.

However, we are warned strongly about this:

How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye (Luke 6:42).

I’ve been in more conversations than I want to count in which one minute the talking head is building him/herself up and the next minute he/she is chopping someone else down. This simply breaks my heart and I can only listen for so long before I am compelled to intervene!

“There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Although we may never commit murder or molest a child, this does not make us any less guilty. Do we not realize that whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (James 2:10)!

In the old days when we were more tribal, the only way to remove someone from our lives was by murdering them. Legally it was by exile or execution. Now we can ostracize them without it looking bad on us. In fact, we can make it look downright righteous. – David Hayward

Until we come to realize that being a sinner is a type of “species” that we are born into and not something we do, we will never have the love and compassion toward others which God desires for us to have. If we don’t get this, we really don’t understand what Jesus accomplished on our behalf! We are all guilty! We all come from the same “genus,” known as sinners, who deserve eternity in hell (Romans 6:23)!

I will never forget the day when this truth first pierced my heart. Previously, I was aware of my sin and that those sins hurt me, others and most importantly God. However, I just couldn’t grasp that I had done anything which deserved eternal punishment! One day, seemingly out of the blue, this truth hit me like a ton of bricks: The reason that I sin is that my bloodline is a “species” which is infected with sin. It is not what I do, but what I am that makes me a sinner. It is my nature; which must be put to death!

Some might say, “Well, I do my best to follow the 10 Commandments! At least I haven’t molested a child! At least I haven’t murdered! Those people deserve to go straight to hell!” To this we must respond, “No matter how virtuous we may try to live, when we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags to Father (Isaiah 64:6 NLT). I have nothing worthwhile to offer Him, and neither do you!”

Very few of us can say that we come anywhere near to being as dedicated to Jesus as the Apostle Paul, yet, even he realized this great truth... “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--and I am the worst of them all” (1Timothy 1:15)!

The infection experienced by those in the effected “species” is systemic, disturbing every cell in our body, including our vision! Patching-up the spiritual eye with self-effort will not help. The infection will remain! Instead, the whole being must be put to death and buried! The only way to effectively nurse someone else who’s suffering a penetrating wound to the eye is to be given new eyes!

This is such a serious issue that I plan to address it in a series. “Keep your eyes peeled” for a continuation in my next article.


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