What Condition My Condition Is In

This rather dramatic painting is by Italian Baroque painter Domenico Fetti. He worked in Mantua, Italy, until he had a feud with some prominent people in town which led him to move to Venice. I wonder if this feud fueled the desire to paint this scene from Matthew 7, where Jesus tells us: “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” In the King James version of the Bible, it reads, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Which is why this painting is called The Parable of the Mote and the Beam. No doubt about it, that’s a pretty big mote!

Perhaps it should be a requirement of life to take a daily inventory of your sight. What are you seeing when you look at others? Our culture tends to encourage gossip, slander, and back-biting as a way to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. If you need proof, watch the news channels. See how people interact with each other in your favorite television program. Hear the politicians. Pay attention to the playground. Or perhaps listen in to your daily conversations. How is your sight? How are you seeing yourself?

Back in 1967, Kenny Rodgers and The First Edition released a song called Just Dropped In to See What Condition My Condition Was In. This could be a good reminder that we all need a little self-evaluation now and then. What if we were to stop worrying so much about what others are doing and spend a little time thinking about what we are doing? It is possible to overly concern yourself with the affairs of other’s while ignoring your own.

We are asked to be concerned about the welfare of our brothers and sisters, but not be judgmental of our brothers and sisters. Our focus should be on how to love them, not on who and what they love.

I have heard it asked of us to imagine that God put a tape recorder around your neck and for the next year, he recorded everything you said. At the end of the year, he took off the tape recorder and played it back. What condition would your condition be in? Even more disturbing would be to imagine God using the same level of judgment you used on other people on yourself.

Being Human Connection: Yeah, Yeah, Oh-yeah. What condition is my condition in?

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. -Luke 6:38 MSG

Featured artwork: Domenico Fetti, The Parable of the Mote and the Beam, 1619