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He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. 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, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log 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.”
First Things First
Although it sounds like one of those “Dah” sayings, the idea of putting “first things first” is actually pretty challenging. I mean, it’s really easy to put other things before the stuff that actually should be most important and done first. For example, when I’m working on a sermon, it’s always tempting to do almost anything other than write. And even if what I’m tempted to do needs to be done, it’s certainly not the most important thing I need to accomplish. But if I choose to chase that rabbit when I really need to maintain my focus, well, the result generally isn’t good, because whether or not I acknowledge it’s immediate importance, that message still has to be written and delivered on Sunday morning. And so, after I’ve decided to back-up some messages or to check out the latest news on my phone, I’m still stuck with an unwritten sermon at 8:00 on Saturday evening, all because I forgot how important it is to put first things first.
And as Jesus reminds us, that same principle applies to our spiritual lives. You see, before we run around acting as though we have all the answers, we might want to listen to some folks who know more than us. And before we put ourselves up as judge and executor, we might want to look at our own lives and take seriously the structural integrity of our glass houses. In short, whether it involves doing a job we’re expected to do or responding to the call of Jesus Christ, I think it’s important to put first things first.