I saw a pizza commercial the other day where the company, Dominoes, was talking about their pizza. They were describing things that were “wrong” with their pizza. They found out these wrong things when they made a concentrated effort to evaluate realistically how their pizza tasted. The assurance that came across to me the consumer was, “they really want to do their best when making pizza.” It made me want to go out and buy a pizza and “check it out!” Dominoes didn’t just stop with their pizza though. The next commercial spoke to the matter of how much cheese was on their cheese bread. The guy on the commercial stated that they had tasted many different cheese breads, and they found out most didn’t have much cheese, and then he said it. “We were one of the worst culprits.” The guy standing beside him almost passed out when he stated that fact. His “full disclosure” though upfront and real, was almost more than the other guy wanted to admit. You see, we aren’t wired that way. We want to admit to some of the wrong, but when it comes down to it, we can find someone else who is “more” wrong than us. We think that lets us off the hook. But does it? NO!!! People leave churches today over the fact that we aren’t getting it done when it comes to ministry. They leave and then blame everyone else but the true culprit. Themselves!! With full disclosure there comes reality. Reality is a bummer when you are trying to keep your head above water in life. It is that nagging thing that rains on every party you try to plan. Reality shows us the “truth” of who we are and where we stand. Reality is the kind of stuff that knocks you off your feet when you ask someone to evaluate how you are doing. Reality is tough. Dreams on the other hand are great. You may never get what you dream about, but the hope you have keeps you going through a parallel “dream universe.” I love dreams and I believe in God using dreams to help us change our realities for the good. Dreams go wrong though when they overtake and ignore reality. God gives us reality every day when we spend time with Him and He shows us where and who we are. If we listen!! If Dominoes had gone out and surveyed all those cheese breads and just cut them down and not improved theirs, realistically all they would have done was bash the other companies without improving theirs. That wouldn’t make their cheese bread any better. They would have fallen into the dream mode of putting other breads down to avoid dealing with their own lack of cheese. Get it?
Jesus dealt with the problem in Matthew 7:1-5 and in verse 3 he says, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Why? Because we don’t want to look at our own faults in any matter. If we do it means we have to deal with it and possibly change…..Oh that would be terrible. It gets better though. Jesus says in verse 4, “Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, and behold the log is in your own eye?” Here is another great problem for those of us not wanting to see our own faults. We have put a BIG wooden filter in front of our eyes (called a log) and we now look at others through this filter. The filter makes it look like everything we do is right and makes it look like everyone else is wrong. By the way, that’s not a filter. It is a stronghold for sin and a barrier between us and our Lord. Finally, Jesus cuts to the chase in verse 5. “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Ouch!!! That does not compute in 2012!! Why? First of all, we rarely self evaluate because it takes too much time. Secondly, if we did REALLY look at our life, we would see such a jumbled up mess of excuses, we would give up trying. Thirdly, we don’t care… Base level…..we don’t! If we did, we would do it. If you will read further in that Chapter, you will see this teaching is base level junior scout stuff, not eagle scout. Which brings to mind. If you can’t handle the basic things of the Christian life, how will you handle the very challenging things. We have just enough Americanized Christianity in us to keep us from really allowing God to grow us up and make us useful. Until then, we are heavily focused on other’s faults. If we stay this way, we are in the H Category Jesus mentioned. You know what I mean….HYPOCRITE!! Time to change. Time to fly. Time to be real. Time to get back on track. It’s TIME!!! We see doom and gloom all around us and now we are part of the problem, not the solution. Take the time to self evaluate. How is my cheese bread (my Christian walk)? Is there really enough cheese in it to call it cheesy bread? If not, then I am the culprit and things have to change. Keep this in mind. The only people who resist change in everything else are those who allow no positive change in their life. I’m just sayin…… Christianity is failing. Are you the culprit? Hopefully not!!
The Pilgrimage Continues…