THE MOTE HUNTER
The expression “We see what we look for.” Is well worn, but is still very true. In our relations with each other, we see what we look for. In a close friend, we seldom see his shortcomings; the good points of one we do not like are never observed; and no one ever had an ugly child! Indeed, we see what we look for!
Since this principle is generally true, shouldn’t we be especially careful in the Lord’s church? Sometimes there are those who do not enjoy church services and working for the church as they once did, and if the condition continues, they become lax and fall away, and souls are endangered. Why is this true? Here are some common answers: “They are not as friendly as they used to be.” Notice it is “they.” If it is something good, it is “we.” But if it is something bad, it is “they.” Another expression that is sometimes heard is “The preacher doesn’t hold my attention as he used to.” Still another, “They just aren’t doing anything any more.” And still another, “Nobody is interested in me any more.” Let us think about these things for a moment. In many instances, a member of the church gets too involved in some activity, and simply loses interest in God and things spiritual; then he looks for an excuse. When this happens, he begins to think that the people are not as friendly as they once were. But, he might not realize that it takes two to be friendly. In former days, he did not stand back and wait for others to approach him. Now, he stands back and thinks that nobody is friendly. In former times he listened carefully to what the preacher said—he entered into the lesson. Now, some of the things said are striking close to home, so he deliberately lets his mind wander; thus, he loses interest, and naturally the preacher cannot hold his interest as once he did. We see what we look for! If we are tired of religion, then we are going to begin to look for faults in everybody at church, and if we use a magnifying glass, it will not be too hard to find them. Jesus, in effect, tells us that if we will first remove all our own faults, we will see better how to correct the faults of others.
Jesus said in Matt. 7:3, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Let us never be guilty of mote hunting. Let us continue to work together in peace and harmony, stand behind the elders when discipline has to be administered, and glorify God by setting the proper example before the world.