Eye's Log

A few months ago, I wrote on this very blog about how appalling a housefire must be. Unfortunately, I’d mistyped it, and had written appealing. A couple of changes, and the entire meaning of my sentence was altered. I still find typos on items which were posted years ago. Despite several checks, I seem incapable of spotting my own errors. Part of my secular work is reading other people’s essays and checking through university applications. An admissions tutor with only a few places to offer might discriminate against any applicant who carelessly types or has too relaxed a regard for written standards. I remember a former headmaster who informed me that as soon as he found an error on a job application, he binned it. He assumed that the applicant would not make a suitable member of staff if they did not invest their application with sufficient attention to detail. Yikes. So I’m pretty good at spotting other people’s typographical errors and mistakes, but not so skilled at spotting my own.

Similarly, we each excel at assessing other people’s character. We can diagnose their weaknesses, flaws and failings with the trained eye of a consultant surgeon. When it comes to reviewing our own shortcomings, however, our powers of observation are less keen. We conveniently ignore the blemishes and imperfections. Worse, we might even seek to justify them, downplaying their harm. Various online memes are employed to boast about how argumentative a person is, or how vengeful you will find them once crossed. The Lord Jesus asks:

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3.

May we focus upon our own character development, our own need to be Christ-like, rather than our spouse’s, neighbour’s or fellow congregant’s. May I be as adept, or more adept, at spotting my own weaknesses rather than analysing others’.

Image by luvqs from Pixabay