I’m a preacher! As I prepare my sermons every Sunday, I’m always thinking “what do others need to hear.” According to Matthew 7:1, that’s the last thing I should look for when I study the bible. I must cultivate a habitual approach to scripture that always begins with “what about me?” I find the Greek verb translated “to judge” in the verse is the form that might be best translated as, “Stop judging.” Wow! God is speaking directly to me!

The great astronomy, Sir Percival Lowell, was convinced that there were canals on Mars. He was such a respected figure in the scientific community none dared contradict him. He spent hours staring through his telescope mapping the lines he observed cris-crossing the planet’s surface. He was so certain that his theories gained wide acceptance. Now, of course, things are different. Space probes have orbited Mars and landed on its surface. The entire planet has been mapped, and no one has seen a canal. How could Lowell have “seen” so much that wasn’t there? It has been discovered that Lowell suffered from a rare eye disease that made him see the blood vessels in his own eye. The Martian “canals” he saw were nothing more than the bulging veins of his eyeballs. Today the malady is known as “Lowell’s syndrome.”

I’m wondering if I haven’t focused too intently on the fault lines in others’ lives that I’ve come believe I have a firsthand view of their shortcomings. But the actual truth is that my vision has been distorted by my own disease.

The words of Jesus from John 8:7 keep coming back to me this morning; “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7