The Art of Self-Deception

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Daily Reflection – 9/11/2020

Sacred Scripture

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see 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 neighbor’s eye. (Luke 6: 39-42)


Christian judgementalism is rampant today. Too many are quick to tell you what is “right” or, even quicker, what is “wrong.” We seem to have developed an orthodox rigidity which freezes our eyes from looking inward. What can’t we observe with the perception of our eyes? Ourselves and our own behavior!

And that’s why today’s Gospel is about far more than judging others. Jesus is calling on us to develop our capacity for critical and honest self- reflection.

When our own eye is obscured by what is in it, in other words when our moral consciousness is malformed or not fully awake, our own perception of other’s moral status may be warped and distorted. Christ’s point therefore is that it is essential for accurate judgement to look at ourselves first before we look at others. 

The Christian moral life, by definition, must include a life-long process of critical self-reflection. This means not looking with our eyes to the exterior world and judging it, but learning first to look inwards and reflect on ourselves.

If we take the first step and honestly observe our own flaws and sins then we are led to the second step in the process.  That consists of deliberately changing the behavior that is inconsistent with His word. After all, we can only teach others what we have taught ourselves.

Jesus wants us to learn this lesson because most of us tend to trivialize or excuse the serious sins that we have and yet point out the small sins of others and make them seem more serious than they are. He wants us to change so that we don’t become blind guides who may lead others into a pit.

Another more common expression is for us to be the change we want to see in the world. The prerequisite to personal guidance, leadership, or any type of moral guardianship of others has to be that. Someone who has a malformed conscience cannot bring others to perfection, but only lead them into his own sin as well.

Thinking the best of other people” is necessary if we wish to grow in love.  And kindliness in “judgment “is nothing less than a sacred duty.  But that “judgment” can only come from a heart that is refreshed by honesty built on correcting our own faults first.

Prayer of The Day

“Dear Lord, I pray for humility and meekness. Help me to free myself of all manner of pride and being judgmental. Help me to see and judge others in the way You want me to see them.”

Daily Note

Jesus was not against people pointing out other’s sins or flaws, in fact it is our duty to do so. However, we are not to do so from a higher position of judgement, but rather from the position of a mentor. A teacher teaches from example. During Christ’s time on earth, Jesus lead a fellowship of his apostles – he treated them as friends that he ate and slept beside. Yet, he never shied from reproaching them for their failures – but always loved and forgave them. We should never utilize moral judgement of others as a method of division from the sinful, but rather as a form of love towards them – the willing of the good of the other.

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