New International Version (NIV)
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
There’s a band called plankeye, or at least there was a band called plankeye, and their name came from this verse (or maybe the verse in Matthew).
I had the chance to go to one of the social nights for a national student convention on Sunday night, and I came away with an immense feeling of disappointment. People who I thought would be better or more responsible with alcohol proved otherwise. And it just felt dirty.
So the whole day I had been wrestling with this discontent, and it was only just at the end of the day where I was forced to face myself.
See, my big deal with drinking alcohol is that it’s okay if it’s in that golden zone of knowing your limit, drinking socially and actually appreciating what you’re drinking. Now, when people go out of their way to drink too much, lose their inhibitions and actually get ataxic, then I start to question their motives.
Because it’s not about being sociable anymore, or even about enjoyment. It’s about drowning out reality in a blur of alcohol and forgetting about the life that you’re living. It’s about a reputation, and it’s about self-centredness. (Someone should probably correct me on this, because this is just what I assume the reason behind drinking excessively is).
It’s a statement saying, “My life sucks, and I spend way too much time putting up these walls to pretend that things are bearable. But now I can drink, lose my inhibitions and everything that’s stopping me from having a good time, and forget about my life for at least tonight.”
And it goes completely against the Christian belief of having fullness and completeness in Christ. We have meaning, we have joy, we have purpose, we have fulfilment when Jesus enters our lives and brings us out of what we were. We are born again.
And that’s why it hurts to see it.
But then, I had to face the facts, and realise that I do the same thing every day. But it’s not alcohol that I use as a distraction or as an anaesthetic, it’s pride. It’s narcissism and conceit. When Medicine gets too hard to study, I fade away into fantasies that I could drop it all and make it big with a career in music. Or that full-time serving at Church would bring me fulfilment.
Or I escape into sad music, films, and the appearance of being culturally refined. Knowing the latest and greatest places to eat, genuinely liking coffee (but pretending to know more about it than I care), and just putting on this thing that isn’t who I am.
And so I was forced to notice the plank, in my own eye.
My weakness is not your weakness. But like I said only a few posts ago, we are all messed up.
So I’m here now, after a whole day of feeling resentful and disappointed, just realising that I actually love the people I was “disappointed” in, and that we’re all in this together. It’s good to be made to feel foolish by God.
And… this is about as personal as this blog has gotten in a long time!