Building Your Army

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged; with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “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 there is always 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. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces.
Matthew 7:1‭-‬6 NIV

I live with TED; TED and I agree; we focus on the things right before me, so I don’t walk into walls or hit corners. It took a lot of bumps and bruises before I finally went to see an eye specialist. The Doctor said you have Thyroid Eye Disease. So I guess I can literary say I have a plank in my eyes. I also have hearing problems; I must tune into conversations to hear clearly what is being said. For those who don’t know my disabilities, it can make them uncomfortable. I don’t need anyone to yell while speaking to me; it’s more helpful if they keep their tone steady, be present, and keep the conversation precise. This is mainly why I choose to have a few trusted friends.

One day a friend was sharing his concerns about what the Church teaches and his conflict with some teachings, and he asked me what I thought about specific issues. I have concerns, I said, but God called me to love my neighbors; He didn’t call me a judge. Anyhow, I said, I’m working on the plank in my eyes, so I don’t pay particular attention to the specs in the eyes of others. We all have something to work on, and I have many things I need to sort out, and there are plenty of times my mouth should be quiet. I’m not saying I’ve perfected myself in any way; I need to keep my checks in order and keep myself from the sin of gossiping and conversing about things I’m uncertain of. I’m also learning not to overshare with people who will take my words out of context and trample them all over me. So I try to stay away from water cooler conversations in most settings. We’ve learned a lot together and agreed to keep each other accountable; we are good friends, and he is a valuable asset to my growth; we sharpen each other’s swords. However, some people love gossip, and don’t be fooled; the moment you walk away, you become the topic. I also don’t mind if someone gossips about me because God will lift me up. So, if someone says something like,

“Did you hear that Elizebeth struggles with mental illness?” You can say, “Yes, I can’t believe how much she has grown; go check out her Library Page and Resources Page; she has a lot of helpful tools there!”

Holy Spirit, I need You to guide me in all my ways, in every word and deed. Please give me a discerning spirit to know when to keep silent or stop myself from untrue, unkind, or unfruitful conversations for others and myself. Please give me eyes to see and ears to hear. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

multiracial students gossiping about black man with notepad
Photo by Keira Burton on