How you think about others will determine the quality of the soul care that you will provide to them. One of the most important keys to remember when it comes to discipleship is that all your care falls within the parameters of speck fishing.
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Jesus said it this way: You have the log in your eye. They have the speck in theirs. (Matthew 7:3-5). This idea is an oft-repeated truth that can lose its practical force because of our familiarity with it.
A helpful way for you to see if it has lost its practical relevance in your life is by answering a few biblically-based, diagnostic questions.
- Do you consider yourself better than the person you are discipling?
- Does your soul care to your family members have a “looking down on them” feel to it?
- Are you impatient toward those who have yet to arrive where you are spiritually?
The person who believes he is a servant of all is in a better position to accomplish redemptive soul care initiatives in the lives of those who need to change. Jesus talked about this idea of serving others in Mark 10:45 when He said,
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
The temptation for us “Jesus followers” is to consider ourselves better than those we serve. Jesus never yielded to the temptation of self-righteousness. Though He was far superior to us, He never exhibited a greater than, better than, self-righteous attitude toward others.
Ironically, He was the only person who ever lived who did not have a “log in His eye,” but He cared for others like a person who did not see Himself as superior.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when there is 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 brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3-5
How did you do with “Jesus’s eye exam” text? One of the ways to answer that question is by assessing how you respond to others who do not meet your expectations. As you do this, look for the “anger indicators” that come out of your mouth while helping others.
A short list of those indicators is frustration, impatience, and unkind words. You will find more manifestations on our popular “anger spectrum” infographic (below).
- How you respond to others reveals how you think of them (Luke 6:45).
- And how you think of them shows your most authentic theology: how you relate to the Lord.
The two key things to remember are (1) where you came from and (2) where you are currently (2 Timothy 1:15-16). You came from total depravity, and you’re perfect in Christ if God has regenerated you. Forgetting either side of this biblical antithesis will send you into either despair (I’m an awful sinner) or self-righteousness (I’m better than others).
The Anger Spectrum
Call to Action
- Do those who are closest to you experience your humble soul care because your sin against Christ affects you more than their sin against you?
- If you manifest any of the sins on the anger spectrum regularly, will you seek help so you can begin changing today?
Also published on Medium.