“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:3-5).

Lord, I was listening to a friend the other day speaking about another person’s inability to forgive them. I asked my friend, “Have you forgiven them?”

The answer was simple, “I told them I was sorry.” Then my friend went on to explain their frustration with fact the other person’s behavior didn’t change after the apology.

That’s my problem too, Adonai―I expect my behavior and actions, good or bad, to influence others. What’s more, I expect that when I’m working on Your behalf―doing what I believe You want me to be doing―others will somehow be transformed/convicted into behaving and acting as I believe they should. At least that’s the way I’d like things to be.

You, my God, seem to have another approach. From the beginning, You created us separated―individual―each to choose our own personal relationship with You. You also created partners for us, those who share (by choice, intimately or distantly) this magnificent gift of life. Each must choose, each must face the consequences. No one can do that for another.

In my conversation with my friend, I explained a recent epiphany You’ve share with me. It seems that as I comb Scripture, I find copious chapters and verses that, when taken to heart and obeyed in practice, change or fix me forthe better, Your better. On the other hand, in all my searches of Your Word, I have yet to find a single verse I can use to fix another person’s issues.

The irony, of course, Master, is that I certainly may be an instrument used to identify a character flaw, or social or spiritual conflict that I see affecting another; I can offer prayer, personal support and scriptural references to help my fellow man or woman work through any conflict. I can invite another to consider accepting You as his or her Lord and Savior.

However, in everyday life, just as in eternal life, conviction conversations are between You and each individual. It’s Your Spirit who is the change agent. You are the One who reshapes lives and moves people.

Yet even You choose not to make someone believe in Your righteousness and sovereignty. So, who am I to attempt such a thing on Your behalf? There is only one who has a choice in that matter―the individual.

Holy Spirit, Kodesh Ruach, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, even in this. It is individual, but we have chosen together; and together we invite and offer to share. Now comes the challenge: Teach us all how to seek Your kingdom―each one in unity with the others―willingly coming individually to become a body of one in You!

Blessings through the Days of Awe.

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