Luke 6:37-42

We all have brains, so we all have biases. Bias is precisely what our brains use to keep us safe and evolving. If a stranger steals from us, we’ll be more wary of all strangers. The part of our brain that helps us make quick, life-saving decisions is the part that forms first and stays with us, even as our lives, communities, and situations change. 

Think of yourself as the center of many concentric circles. Draw them on this page if you want. Consider all the ways that you identify yourself and write each one in a different circle. They might include your religion, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, education, geographic region. Write one or two of the words you consider most important in the outer circles. Picture yourself walking around with these identity circles on as though you’re wearing a hula hoop around your waist. Imagine how we bump into each other’s hula hoops—or biases—all the time. To bridge the distance between us, we must recognize what invisible hoops are keeping us apart. Then we must find ways to work around those obstacles. 

This is what Jesus is telling us when he describes the logs in our eyes. Realizing that we might actually be causing the problem we have with someone else is so difficult. Creating another narrative in which we are innocent is easier because looking at ourselves honestly is such hard work. 

Jesus advises us to first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye (v. 42). Ask him to help you follow his advice and begin that process today.


When was the last time you experienced something that made you uncomfortable? Examine whether you might be the reason for it? What do you discover when you stay curious and look for the root of the problem? 


God, we make judgments about others too quickly. Help such instances remind us to examine ourselves. Help us set aside whatever distorts our view so that we will see your perspective more clearly. Amen.

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