Lately, I have been spending lots of time looking into the darkest corners of my heart. By nature, I am really impulsive. At my worst, I can make a chihuahua loaded on crack look like the perfect model of deliberate action. I know this weakness, so I’ve learned to slow down often enough to avoid the train wrecks.

This time around, there’s another reason why I needed to seriously pause and reflect. Soon I will be leading a new small group (I’m very excited), and I want to be diligent to avoid what I’ll call PLANK EYE DISCIPLESHIP.

It is human nature to teach and talk down to others according to the issues we’re facing. We focus on the tiny speck of dust while ignoring the personal plank. We do this on accident, and we do this on purpose. Either way we fail to discern what God is doing in the other person’s life (and probably our own as well) and consequently have little impact because we’re not working in concert with the Holy Spirit.


I’m looking in to the deep dark spots in order to get ready. I have no illusions that I’ll have these “figured out” by the time we start small group (these are life long issues). The point is a renewed awareness of my personal deep darks. This leads to a greater dependence on God, relying on his mercy more and more. This sets me up to be more forgiving. It also does something else: I’ll have better conversations small group.

Once we get started and the relationships begin to solidify, my part in the conversation will be weighed against the canvas of my own problems. I won’t jump to a conclusion, question, or piece of advice without thinking, “wait, is this really about them?”

Everyone else doesn’t have my problems.

People are unique. God is manifold magnificent. Growing spiritually can’t be carbon copied.

How much of what you say to others is something you need to hear the most?
(When I apply that question to itself i get a minor headache)