I Found the Log

I Found the Log (1,130)

April 28th, 2011

The Sermon on the Mount is dynamite. Not dynamite in the sense of outstanding and terrific—certainly it is that, too. But dynamite in that it needs to be handled carefully or it will blow up in your face.

The way it’s taught in the church is pure pabulum—similar to putting nursery rhyme music for the soundtrack to The Godfather. We are so desperate to turn Jesus into the loving, tender, compassionate savior that we’re willing to interpret his words in order to maintain this selected public image.

Actually, Jesus was a hard ass. Not hyper-critical of people’s morals and faults, but with the expectation that human beings should rise from the evolutionary goo and become personally responsible individuals, willing to pursue excellence.

One such example is when Jesus told us that we should take the log out of our own eye before we even dare consider the speck of sawdust in our brother’s eye. But what is the log?

I found it. At least I think so.

The log is this: “I need to be right.” And I am willing to do almost anything to make sure that the integrity of my rightness is neither defiled, questioned or tread upon. The greatest frailty in the human psyche is the need to be better than someone else. I can’t be better if I’m not right all the time. That would mean I would have to learn something from someone else, and that’s just downright terrifying.

This causes me to accumulate so many specks of sawdust that they eventually turn into a log. I have a mass accumulation of inconsistencies which have been explained away in such verbosity that they would make the novel War and Peace look like a pamphlet.

This is the log. And this is also how I decide who is in my favor and who is on the outs with me. Anyone who is willing to let me continue my charade of assumed excellence is acceptable, and any person who dares to even connote that I might lack in some way is on the journey to become my bitter enemy.

There is only one cure for the log: humorous assessment of one’s own vacuous nature.

Until then, the worst critics of fat people will be other fat people. They are always trying to figure out if the person in front of them in line is fatter than they are.

The worst bigots against black people are, and always have been, in the black community. They compare colors, cultures and education at will.

Politicians accuse other politicians of graft and corruption, mirroring their own guilty consciences.

We strike out at others, fearing their pending superiority. So what is the cure? It’s quite simple. We must be prepared to give a personal testimony on the state of our being—right and wrong. Once I understand that I have imperfections and they are not destroying the world and the earth is still revolving, I am much more pleasant for you to be around also. Until then, I am like a powder keg with a fuse inserted, as I stand nearby, holding a match, ready to light up and explode in your face.

So what can we do to remove the log so that we can more tenderly and clearly help our brothers and sisters remove their specks?

1. Find out what really is perfect and speak it aloud. It will be obvious—it’s the thing that is actually working, right next to your mediocrity.

2. Purposely seek out someone who’s better than you at something you think you have accomplished and tell them what a good job they’re doing.It’s like a breath mint for your soul.

3. Pair things off. In other words, be prepared to say something good and something bad about yourself—in the same sentence. For example: “I may not be the greatest communicator in the world, but I have learned how to talk better on the phone.”

4. And finally, don’t be afraid. That’s a big one. All fear is based upon the expectation that things should be different than they are. Once you accept the fact that things are the way they are for a reason and you can live with it, fear has no place to live.

I have found the log. It is me needing to be right.

If I can accept the fact that my wrongs do not take me out of the equation of the love of God or even the love of others, I no longer need to walk around with a big board sticking out of my head—leaving people bored with my false bravado.

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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