Are we looking at others through dirty glasses?

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1

I have bad eyesight. Like horribly bad. As it turns out, so do three of my four boys. We haven’t had our youngest tested yet, but I’m certain he’ll prove to take after his dad. My wife, on the other hand, has perfect vision.

One of my sons, while inheriting my poor eyesight, doesn’t share my appreciation for clean glasses. Seriously, if I didn’t make him clean his glasses every morning before school, they’d NEVER get cleaned. I honestly have no idea how the kid sees where he’s going. More importantly, I wonder what his world looks like through dirty lenses intended to improve his vision.

Christ said “Judge not. Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” In relation to my story, how can we see others the same way God sees them if the glasses through which we’re looking aren’t clean?

Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church, said, “None of us is perfect. I know of no one who would profess to be so. And yet for some reason, despite our own imperfections, we have a tendency to point out those of others. We make judgments concerning their actions or inactions. There is really no way we can know the heart, the intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something we find reason to criticize.” 

Simple as that. Don’t judge others. Clean our glasses. Try to see them as Heavenly Father and the Savior would see them. I wish I could say I have never judged others, but that’d be a big lie. I’m grateful, however, for the Gospel of Jesus Christ which helps me learn to be less judgmental and be more charitable toward others. As I strive to “clean my own glasses,” I know that Christ helps me see others differently. Please take a moment to watch the humorous video below which tells the story of Lisa and John, and how cleaning their windows helped them see their neighbor in a whole new light. 

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Have I done any good?

Last Sunday in our Sacrament Meeting (what Mormons call the Sunday worship service) we sang the hymn “Have I Done Any Good?” As I looked around, I noticed two friends in the congregation singing together. One of them, an elderly sister, has poor eyesight. Her friend was holding a large piece of paper in front of them. Upon closer inspection, I realized that she had printed out the words to the hymn in large print so her friend could sing along. A genuine act of thoughtful, Christ-like service. I love the first verse and the questions it asks about my personal commitment to serve others as Christ would.

Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
If you’re like me, it’s always easier to show up at an organized service project (which usually only occur a few times a year). What I think Christ wants us to do is to take advantage of opportunities to quietly serve those around us. It’s the simple, everyday acts of Christ-like service, or charity, that do the most good. Mormons believe that service to others is an important characteristic of discipleship, and we promise at baptism to devote our lives to the service of others.
So, at the end of the day, let us ask “Have I done any good in the world today?” I know the Lord is pleased with us when we can answer “yes” and has trust in us to do better when the answer is “no.” Either way, He needs us to answer the call.