The past few weeks I have been traveling up and down the roads of Kathmandu, Nepal, one of the most industrialized areas of Nepal. Now, Nepal is not like America. There aren’t trash cans on every sidewalk to throw away fast food bags, empty water bottles, and who knows what else. There aren’t strict laws about driving. There is a lot of pollution actually. And there are also a lot of stray dogs on the street. But this isn’t anything to talk down on how the Nepali people live. This is a beautiful country and quite frankly, the people are a lot nicer than Americans (they will actually give you the time of their day to invest in you, even if you just stop them on the sidewalk).
That being said, another important thing about the roads and driving is that most of the streets are crowded with motorcycles, bicycles, buses, small cars and taxis, took-tooks (see pictures to the side), and people. There are a lot of people. For some, it may seem chaotic compared to what we are used to, but this is their country, this is how they live and because they all live like this, everyone follows the same rules! During the summer season Nepal is typically a very hot country. Therefore, in cars windows are always open. Even in the monsoon season because they don’t have air condition privileges like us luxurious Americans do. As you can see to the left there is a picture looking out the back of a took-took, a electric car that is like a taxi. There aren’t always doors either. Most of the time, buses keep the doors open when driving on the road (easy access on and off and a cooler environment for all).
On our way back from Thamel, one of the most touristy places someone could go to get souvenirs in Kathmandu, I had the window seat in our long taxi drive. The roads were packed, like usual. But it seemed I had to squint and blink a lot and even rub my eyes until they were almost beat red. Now, this wasn’t because I was beat from the hard core shopping and bargains I got, or even that it was super bright and hot out, but rather that there was dust everywhere. Every time we passed another car on the other side of the road dust flew in the air. It started to get annoying because I couldn’t look out the window to see the beautiful mountains when possible. I could have rolled the window up, but it was way too hot, not to mention, there were 6 of us in a 5 person car (not a huge deal in Nepal). So the rolling up the window option wasn’t even an option. I just toughed it out and wiped my eyes frequently so that I could enjoy the view.
As we were driving along it was too hot to do too much talking, so I did what any other human being would do, I thought. What came to my mind was about the dust.
You know, we all have dust in our eyes. Sure, maybe those of us traveling the streets of Kathmandu have a little more dust in our eyes, but I mean metaphorically, we all have dust in our eyes. If we look to the scripture in Matthew, having things in our eyes is actually referring to judgment upon others.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can 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. — Matthew 7.3-5
We have all heard this verse a thousand times, hear me out on this. Most of the time we read this verse t focus on the log in our own eyes. Maybe you judged someone poorly before you looked at your own hypocritical actions and they told you to look up this verse. Or maybe it was preached on a Sunday morning and you were a little convicted. I think we can all say that this verse brings conviction to us at some point in time.
You see, it seems we are all searching for that one person that doesn’t have any specks in his or her eyes. We expect them to be spotless and to have no flaws. We meet new people and begin to search them for these things.
We want to find their flaws to compare ourselves to them. Just in case they have a bigger flaw than us. Because in that case, it makes us better than them, or not as bad as them. We look at them and say “well I messed up with this, but at least I didn’t do that!”.
This is such a false way of thinking. Jesus looks at all of us with the same heart. He seeks us with the same love. He doesn’t put one sin higher than the other, but hating someone is just the same as murdering them (1 John 3.15).
It is simply invalid to compare ourselves to others like that. Not to mention, comparing leads into straight up judging. For example, maybe you meet someone and they have nicer clothes, a nicer house, a cooler car, more friends and you start to compare yourself to him or her and potentially end up falling into that comparison trap. The next thing that you’ll do is try to point out the flaws, mistakes, and sins they make so that you can feel better about yourself.
This is exactly what the enemy wants us to think. He wants us to fall into the deception of someone being better than ourselves. He wants us to forget about that log in our own eye and look for the speck in someone else’s.
We have all been through this. The enemy attacks all of humanity with this. But, remember, the enemy is the father of lies, it is his native language (John 8.44). There is only one that is pure and spotless and without blemish, and that is Jesus Christ.
Therefore, when we are looking for someone who is perfect, when we just want to see what perfection looks like, we don’t need to look any further than the Gospel because that is where Jesus’ story is lived and He is the spotless Lamb, the Perfect Son. We don’t need to compare ourselves to Him either because all the sins we have are forgiven. Even our false judgments upon others.
Friends, don’t fall into that comparison trap. Don’t be the one to try to judge others to make yourself feel better. Remember that when you are looking at someone else and forgetting about your own flaws and mistakes and totally ignoring the large log sticking out of your eye, that we all have specks in our eyes. When someone else looks at us, he or she may be trying to do the same thing. Instead of focusing on picking out the dust in another’s eye, we need to realize that they see us as exactly the same, dust-filled eyes. Yet, we all have logs in our eyes as well.