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Yesterday a dear Christian friend and I had a sharp disagreement. It got personal and painful, fast. I was upset and disconnected for the rest of the day and as I opened my Bible last night for another installment of one-year reading, I asked God if there were anything in all of that teaching about the Kingdom that would help me out. I doubted it.
Shouldn't have. The son of a carpenter (so he should know, right?) told me,
"How can you 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."
My friend and I were both suffering from Tabula In Oculus Morbus (Plank in Eye Disease), a common spiritual condition in which the patient suffers from a lack of information, understanding, and/or compassion yet still renders harsh, inaccurate, and hurtful judgements. The appearance of the planks vary from person to person. The plank of pride looks sleek and gorgeous to its owner, but just oversized to everyone else. The plank of bitterness is rough and splintered, causing pain to owner and acquaintance alike. The plank of self-interest usually looks both warped and indistinguishable from its owner. Appearance aside, they all have the same function: to blind the owner while making him look rather silly, too (except to himself). Full-blown, it can lead to death. The remedy for Tabula In Oculus Morbus is immediate and complete removal. Unfortunately, no other person can perform the actual operation, it must be done by the patient himself.
So now I must acknowledge my planklessness to my friend and seek forgiveness. How grateful I am that Jesus' teaching on the Kingdom includes dealing with real human conflict.