“Peeking Tommys”

African violet…whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” Romans 2:1

Let me start out by saying that I love children, and I love teaching children, my family has taught Good News Club at a local Elementary School  for many years, and it is both a blessing and a privilege that I enjoy immensely. I have observed something interesting in my years of being around children, and you have probably noticed it, too. If you have ever taught Sunday School, or been in a situation where you have prayed with children you have probably witnessed the following scenario:

You ask the children to bow their heads and close their eyes to pray. Someone prays, and as soon as the “Amen” is said (sometimes even before!), little Tommy pipes up, “Joey didn’t have his eyes closed! Joey was looking around!” To which you reply (if you are like me): “How do you know? You must have had YOUR eyes open, too!” And Tommy will reply, “I only peeked for a second, Joey was looking the WHOLE time!”

I think it is so interesting that we, like little Tommy, are most sensitive to those sins that we struggle with ourselves. We find ourselves “peeking” at others in order to point out their sins so that we don’t look so bad. It makes us feel good, though, doesn’t it? I know that when I am feeling unsure of myself or know that I have been indulging in a favorite sin, it makes me feel better to point out someone else who is indulging in that same sin, but of course to a much greater extent than I did.

The Lord Jesus told us to get the beam out of our own eye so that we can see to get a splinter out of someone else’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5). Why do you think He said that? Because He is God! He created us, and He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our weaknesses and our sinful tendencies. He knows that we might genuinely want to help someone with that splinter, but He also knows that we have to deal with our own “beam” first. He doesn’t say don’t judge.  He says don’t judge unless you are willing to be put under scrutiny and judged by the same measure that you are judging another. It has become a common phrase now to say, “Don’t judge me!” What people are really saying is, “I am going to do what I want to do, I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be doing it, but I don’t want you to tell me that it is wrong because I like it and I want to do it!” There are times that we should help people with their splinters in their eye. You know, a splinter in the eye is NOT A GOOD THING! If left there, it may scratch the eyeball, cause an infection, and eventually maybe cause you to go blind or lose that eye altogether. So, if we love someone, we don’t want their eyeball to fall out, do we? BUT, our motives and attitudes are what matters. IF we are just being a “Peeking Tommy”- trying to make someone else look bad in order to make ourselves look good, then we are not being helpful at all, in fact, I am pretty sure that it is prideful and sinful. SO, we need to examine ourselves first, get rid of that beam in our own eye, then speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and help the other person to get that splinter out and avoid a bad situation from getting much worse, but remembering to do it in a spirit of meekness (Galatians 6:1). When Priscilla and Aquila heard Apollos teaching incomplete truth about the Lord Jesus, they pulled him aside and “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” (Acts 18:26), and Apollos accepted their teaching with humility and went on to teach the complete truth. To “propound” is to suggest an idea to a person for them to consider, it implies humility and gentleness in the presentation, so it is much better to be a “Propounding Priscilla” rather than a “Peeking Tommy”.

The Lord Jesus said that we are to have childlike faith in order to accept Jesus’ teachings about Himself and to enter His Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3), but He did not mean for us to be “childish” – there is a difference!

~ Graced and Grateful Grammy

Be a “Propounding Priscilla”, not a “Peeking Tommy”!

 

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