The Blog in Your Own Eye

How hard can it be, really?

As a priest, I often hear people complaining about others. For a multitude of motives, people will come to complain to Abouna, perhaps because he is ‘in charge’ at Church, or perhaps because they think he will fix the person up, or perhaps (I hope not) because they think it will benefit them somehow to tarnish the reputation of their enemy in Abouna’s eyes.

Before I go further, I should probably point out that it doesn’t work, just in case you’ve ever been tempted to think it might be fun. Priests in general do not hold a ‘bad idea’ about anyone. We tend to take the view that all of us, (including the priests) are sinners grappling with their own weaknesses and all equally in need of God’s mercy and grace.

But I wonder why some people do so enjoy picking out other people’s faults? We all do it. It’s an easy trap to fall into. But why do we do it?

Does it make the critic feel superior, perhaps?

Or perhaps it makes him feel better about himself: if you can’t rise to the level of others, the next best thing is to bring them down to your own level.

Does it make him feel intelligent, something like: “Oooh, aren’t I clever for picking that up, when the person I’m criticising clearly has no idea!”

Or is it a sort of passive way to get back at someone. You know you can’t punch them in the face, so you fantasise about condemning them.

Does it distract him from the painful subject of his own faults?

I think I would be very unhappy if my self-esteem depended on putting others down. How miserable! And what a waste of time! Surely my self-value is not relative? Whether I am a good person or a bad person depends on who I am, not on how bad others are. If all around me were evil, horrible people, and I was no worse than a simple liar, that doesn’t make me a saint, simply by comparison!

The danger in finding lots of specks in other eyes, of course, is that I might never focus on the log in my own eye. This has two rather undesirable consequences:

1. I will never be able to repent from my sins, for I will never become aware they even exist.

2. When the time comes for me to be judged by the real Judge, He will apply the same degree of mercy to me that I applied to others. Uh-oh…

Now I am getting worried. I’ve been writing a lot of opinions on this Blog. Sometimes, they have been quite critical. Have I been focusing on the specks in the eyes of others, while all the time neglecting the blog in my own eye?

Fr Ant

PS A person whose vision is obstructed by a log is unlikely to have the ability to see something as small as a speck anyway. Think about it….

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2 Replies to “The Blog in Your Own Eye”

  1. Dear father Antonios , good day , i came familiar with the blog only recently and i believe the blog is a great start if used as two ways of communication between the church and the church congregation who God consider all of us the body of the church with its head our lord Jesus Christ , as at the end of the day we must live the life of real partnership in everything we do at all levels in our church ….just i want to highlight one important point is that weatherproofing is something and constructive , respectable , rights , honest and open views is something else !!!??WEATHERPROOFING is a metaphor to explain one of our most neurotic and ungrateful tendencies …certainly it must be avoided because neither our way of life and values as Coptic Christians Australians nor God likes it to condemn, point the finger , humiliate and take the rights of others ….so father let us look at the bright side of the blog and make the most of it in a positive and constructive way ….. God main message in his holy bible is “Love God from all your heart and love thy neighbor as thyself , amen”, may God strengthen our faith , hope and love till thy kingdom come ..i believe ,it is not enough to listen to the word of God but we must live it all the time in our real practical daily life as God said faith must be accompanied by deeds and specially to look after those least to inherit eternal life , so the bottom line we must listen ,live and apply our holy bible in our way of life all the time at all levels of the church and in our great Coptic community in this part of the world who built all our churches by the help of God in the last 40 years and the help of our Australian government .. we must be proud of this great achievements when i remember those people used to mortgage their houses to by a piece of land to make it a church so we must look after it all the time with the help of God and pass this great history to our children honestly …may God look after his great Coptic community in this part of the world who came from Ethiopia , Egypt , north Sudan and South Sudan and cater for the needs of those least all the time …..

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  2. Dear father Antonios and all ,i suggest that the blog must keep improving more by opening a new page for questions ,concerns and views . I believe in this way the blog will be activated and serve more our community mainly those youth as this electronic modern technology is part of their daily life as they surf the internet all the time .The community is the church and the church is the community ,so let us work smart not hard , i believe such an approach will involve and educate more our community ,exchange concerns and at the end of the day will put our Australian church clergy more closer to the community. i believe if approached effectively and efficiently it might create more trust ,openess at all levels .let us try it and let our community and youth involve and improve our spiritual and social life .may our holy spirit guide us all the time to praise the name of our lord amen .

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