Devotional: September 15th
Yesterday my son, Sean, and I did not make it all the way to Franklin, Kentucky, for a round of golf. But we did make it to Danville and played a round at the golf course in the Old Bridge subdivision. From a vantage point high on one of the tees on the course you can see the old steel bridge, one of the first of its kind, that lends its condition to the name of the subdivision and the golf course. The course itself is not spectacular but it is interesting and has places where errant shots can get you.
In several of these places that wannabe good shots go to die there was a lot of high grass and one particularly threatening plant. If I were to say that the plant had three somewhat triangular leaves I am sure many of you would say the plant was poison ivy. That it was. Nasty plant that is absolutely lethal to some folks but which I personally have no more trouble with anymore. The problem with poison ivy is that it secretes a resin that is the cause of the inflammation and blisters that plague so many who are allergic to it. That resin is the problem.
Unless it is washed off the resin secreted by poison ivy can last almost indefinitely. It can be on your clothes as well as on your body. That is why poison ivy was once thought to travel through the blood stream. It would show up someplace on the body that it had not directly contacted. A person could have walked through a patch of the stuff and then later in the day removed their socks after having washed their hands and the resin winds up on the hands and gets spread wherever the hands contact the body after that. The best thing to do, other than avoid the stuff, is to immediately wash the clothes and then yourself. That way you don't risk spreading it to someone else.
Judgment is a lot like poison ivy. Once it gets on us it can spread and infect and cause all sorts of problems. You see, judgment is not ours to handle. That belongs to God. Once we start judging we become overcome by the need to continue. It spreads through us like a poison ivy as judgment touches different facets of our lives. We are consumed with the thrill of judgment, of helping people to overcome themselves. It all seems so very holy and purposeful, but it is not our right.
"Why do you look at the sawdust in your brother's eye but ignore the framing beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the sawdust from your eye,' and not see the framing beam in your own eye. Self centered fool! First get rid of the framing beam in your own eye, then you will be able to see clearly enough to remove the sawdust from your brother's eye." Matthew 7:3-5 Judgment isn't judgment if it is helping. But it is only helping if we have helped ourselves first. Remember, we often see faults in others that are most dramatically plaguing us. Clean ourselves up first or else we just spread poison.
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