Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:4-5
In the complex where I am there is such order, the kind that many people would be irritated by. Interesting part is that the president of the homeners association lives in a house opposite mine, and takes his role very seriously. I’ve had challenges with parking and have had to move my car on and off just to maintain the order. At first I felt so much hostility towards this guy, but a voice inside always said ‘be nice’. See, hostility depending on the measure in one’s heart can lead one to acting it out, and that leading to unnecessary drama. So I listened to the inner voice and became nice, never complained just did what was requested of me. One Saturday, I found myself thinking about this man. How good he is at what he does for the complex. People don’t want to be bothered in their households, they want to be left alone. But he has such patience that he doesn’t tire to do what needs to be done in the complex, to knock in people’s doors when necessary, and he does it with such politeness. I found myself applauding him for such finesse. Imagine, from hostility to admiration. Only God can do such!
It is at that point that the Holy Spirit whispered the topic scripture in my ear. I then realised that, people don’t really hate order, infact they can slide into it easily if need be. What they truly hate is to be told what to do. It takes a really spiritually mature and wise individual to submit to order without arguing even in their hearts, but instead see good in it. This is when I realised that rebellion is embedded in us, truly in our being. Not because we chose it, but because we inherited it.
When Jesus spoke of hypocrisy in us, always quick to see wrong in others or their actions purely because we don’t agree with them, they make us uncomfortable, the beam in one’s eyes seemed practical. However, the beam is the root of rebellion. We can never see clearly or apply good judgement for as long as the root of rebellion is still in us, whatever it is. Rebellion is the one that makes us right, because somehow being right is aligned with how we feel about something or someone. For as long as that something or someone gives us discomfort or makes us uneasy, they are wrong we are right and somehow we need to correct them.
1 Corinthians 14:40. Let all things be done decently and in order.
Order is such a beautiful thing. It makes life easier, enables progress and it comes from God. Yes, I agree that there are people who abuse this order when placed in charge of it. People that use it to oppress or manipulate others. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it is necessary to ensure progress and harmony. The bible tells us that the earth was formless and void, chaotic, and God said ‘let there be light’. From there He started arranging things into order. So, where there is order there is a huge influence of God, unless if there be oppression.
Proverbs 17:11. An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
I understand that humanity has experienced so much bad, such that the defensive attitude has become a shield for one to protect themselves. A defensive attitude is a sign of rebellion, righteousness seeks counsel. With rebellion one cannot accept correction instead they always see injustice.
When Israel started building the temple, the nations around Jerusalem started coming up with stories as to why the building of the temple should be stopped. When Nehemiah started with the wall, again it became a problem because when it was in ruins, they could do in Jerusalem as they pleased. The wall meant barricade. So they devised plans to stop the work. See, rebellion is that enemy of progress. The one that fights to ensure that an individual wrestles against God. Such that, even if the building of their faith is happening, it would be delayed and the process too long so one can give up on God. To be free of rebellion is an achievement of peace. Rebellion promotes hostility against God and mankind. It is unfortunate that we never consider ourselves to be rebellious in any way, until God brings it up in us to address it. Problem with this rebellion is that, it doesn’t just delay progress externally, but it does so even personally.
We have to come to a space of peace with being told what to do. For as long as that telling encourages a harmonious order and leads to progress in any way, it is good. We have to pray continually for every seed of rebellion to be uprooted in us so we can get to that place of peace. It is in this space that we can see clearly to remove the mote in another’s eyes.