First, take a look at yourself

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. -Matthew 7:5 

Dear members and friends,

Knowing the truth is challenging, especially when you try to learn the truth through other people and their experiences. Even if they had the same experience and were honest, memories and interpretation of events vary from person to person. This fact first became clear to me in understanding how and why my parents were divorced. 

When I was a young child, I believed that my mother was the heart of all my parent’s problems, and thus the one who caused the divorce. This was because all the information I received was from my paternal grandmother, who clearly hated my mother. Later as a teenager, I was convinced that my father was the sole cause of the divorce because all the information I received at that time was from my mother and her sisters. However, as I became an adult, I learned many new and different aspects of their divorce and just how complicated it really was. In a way, both my mother and father were victims as well as instigators in the events that led them to divorce. And despite their claims otherwise, both my paternal and maternal grandparents played significant roles in the event. Yet what I understood as the truth was different from either my older sister or older brother’s understanding of the truth! In the end, what I fully and clearly realized is the fact that each one of us gathers, processes, and analyzes matters differently, and thus what appears to be true to one is not the same to another. Ultimately, we all live by this personalized, subjective truth and within the reality created based on it. 

This fact reminds of the teaching Jesus in Matthew 7, “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.” If I may add one practical step to this teaching: we should first acknowledge and accept the truth that there is a log in our eyes, which causes obstruction to our sight, meaning none of us see matters clearly as it is! This is a very humbling and enlightening truth from Jesus, and at the same time a very comforting and relieving truth as well. When we take this teaching of Jesus to our hearts, we can respect each other properly, and at the same time being freed of any burden that we need to be right.

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee