Eyes of Kindness

Jun 07, 2003 11:17 AM EDT

Matthew 7:1-12 (NRSV)

"Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye.

"Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.

"Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

"In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets."

Jesus said, "Do to others as you would have them do to you."

-- Matthew 7:12 (NRSV)

THE screeching brakes and swerving cars left me shaking. As I turned, expecting chastisement from the other driver, I saw a smile of relief on his face. He surprised me further when he asked, "Are you all right?" When I answered yes, he waved goodbye and left. Granted, he had been speeding, but if there had been a collision I could have been charged with making an unsafe turn.

As I reflected on the incident, I wondered whether I would have reacted the same way had the roles been reversed. I had to admit that I would have insisted that I was right and would have made sure that he understood the error of his ways. His actions that day have made me more tolerant of others' mistakes.

The words of the Golden Rule, "Do to others as you would have them do to you," took on new meaning for me. When, in our Christian walk, we find ourselves ready to cast judgment on someone, we can instead choose to see them through eyes of compassion and kindness. Christ always did and still does.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to see others with kindness and compassion. We are thankful for your great love that covers a multitude of our sins. In your most holy name we pray. Amen.


How do I respond to mistakes that affect me?


Those who annoy me

By Matthew Keins, Texas