Many of you already know what I’m talking about. It’s the first indication that millions of us get that we’re about to have a whopper of a headache. The first time it happened I was in my mid-twenties and was literally bumping into the wall I couldn’t see while walking down a narrow corridor. Convinced I was having a stroke, I called an ophthalmologist friend who calmly asked if I had a history of migraines. I answered “no,” and he apologetically said, “you’re about to.” Boy was he right. The blind spots quickly transformed into daggers to the eye!
Blind spots in our spiritual lives can be much more difficult to discern, but not impossible. They also serve as a warning, lest we become daggers to the body of Christ.
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 at the time there is a plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3-4
This passage is speaking to the issue of critical Christians- spiritual planking, if you will, that occures when we become rigid and quick to criticize the faults of others. A critical spirit is a warning – a blind spot that, left without a remedy, can transform into something ugly.
Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. Romans 2:1
We aren’t supposed to just look the other way in the face of wrongdoing, but the critical Christian often is unaware that she has a problem with the very same issues. I recognize this tendency in myself and I don’t like what I see. Thankfully, the scriptures provide a clear three-step remedy found in Luke. The beloved physician is quoting the great physician in this passage:
Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure-pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. Luke 6:37-38.
First – When you sense the urge to criticize, you’ve possibly just recognized a blind spot.
Second – At the first inclination of a blind spot, generously apply grace and compassion. (This will soften the “plank” for easier removal.)
Third – Gently remove the offending plank and enjoy the full measure of pain relief overflowing in you and to everyone else around you.