Becky, my sweet wife wrote the following dialog she had with Nate, our blond headed, fun loving boy.
Nate (the 6 year old, in kindergarten): Mom, today Brendan got mad at me.
Mom: Why did he get mad at you, Nate?
Nate: Because I told on him.
Mom: What was he doing that you told on him?
Nate: He didn’t have his eyes closed and his head bowed during prayer.
Mom: Nate, how did YOU know he didn’t have his eyes closed?
Nate: I saw him
Mom: Nate, that means you had your eyes open during prayer!
Nate: No, I only had ONE eye open!
My wife told me, “I don’t think he understands he was doing what Brendan was.” We love our little Nate.
The application is simple and to the point, if we will just keep our own eyes closed and pray, it will be harder to worry about what someone else is doing. They wont get mad at you for being judgmental, and you won’t know what they were or were not doing, while you were and were not doing the same.
It is so easy to point out others’ problems. I have always thought that people who have been pastors have a problem being pastored, because they see things how they would do it.
I told something to a man one time a few years ago that was being “perceptive” about some short-comings of a church. I looked at him and smiled and said, “The only perfect church is the one you will pastor one day.” He looked at me like I was strange, and I just laughed inside.
It is time for me to just close my eyes and pray and reap the benefits of focused prayer, rather than deal with the knowledge that comes from watchful eyes.
“Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” Luke 6:42
Scott Phillips is pastor of New Birth Pentecostal Church .