Matthew 7:6, 12-14 6 ‘Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.12 ‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets. 3 ‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to destruction is wide and spacious, and many take it;14 but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
When I think of myself as someone with more experience, more understanding or patience, I think less of my neighbor. It is a difficulty that I encounter in my day more times than not. My thinking, Lord, has become automatic; judge, criticize, admonish even if only in my thoughts and never spoken. If others could read my mind, I would be torn to pieces. Yet I consider myself close to you, following and in union with you – attempting holiness. How can I be one way as well as the other?
Always treat others as you would like them to treat you.
I’ve been talking with you about this – hard not to with the news and media as it is. The amount of conversation in the world is loud and unavoidable. We are baffled as to how much hatred and division is occurring. Disappointments in people and politics and religion too. Where is this narrow gate and hard road you say will lead me to life? How can I get to it and bring others along with me? Why do my steps veer to the ditches instead of on the narrow path?
I know the answer is sin. The sinful ways I have not given over to you. The amounts of time I spend wasted on things that don’t or won’t matter in the long run. Allowing the intemperance that seeks a way to take over my heart, my thoughts and actions in the course of my day. Poorly choosing what is pleasing to eat instead of what can I fast from for you and all the offenses against you. Justification in my actions because I feel I deserve something instead of recognizing my greediness. Giving up and not persevering because I think since I am this age I shouldn’t have to do this or that. Knowing when help is needed or when I need to be quiet and not helping or stopping the need to hear myself. Only trusting in you so much because I’m still hanging on to old wounds that don’t allow me to think I am worth more. Not believing you are the one and only Savior and that I don’t need to be. Not loving my neighbor where they are at; not recognizing the need to listen nor talk but to hear their cries without making it about me.
O Lord, the road of destruction seems like a well traveled path for me. This narrow gate; I lose sight of it often and it is only by your love and mercy that my eyes can focus again on it, and the destination I truly desire. I want life, I seek you with all my heart and I seek your heart for everyone. I ask you to open my eyes, ears and mouth to proclaim your name, to hold tight to the faith that you, God the Father of heaven and earth; that you have our backs. You got this. You always have, you always will. Keep me in the palm of your hands. May I be able to always find my way to you. And help me to be alert to show others the way, when you ask me to.