A Pain in The Eye

I’ve been seeing a posts on Facebook and other social media sites about how America needs to wake up and do this-or-that to better themselves and their country.

And most of these writers are from other countries.

I understand that people looking in from the outside can sometimes have a unique perspective. Some of it can be valuable, even.

But I found many of these articles don’t really care about America doing better; quite the opposite. It’s nothing more than an attempt to make America seem like an international bully, or an immoral or amoral cesspool.

One of my favorite stories of Jesus is in John chapter 8 where the Pharisees brought him a woman caught in adultery. They said the law of Moses require she be stoned, and wanted to know what should be done with her.

He said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.”

It’s easy to judge others, to use their sins, wrongdoings, social status, color, talents, name it against them. We do so to not only make ourselves look better, but also as a distraction to avoid looking at our own sins, blemishes and shortcomings.

The same holds true with countries.

I never complain about what Australia, England, Egypt or any other country as to what it’s doing or not doing. Why? I don’t have the time or inclination to care, to be completely honest. I have enough to deal with on my own land, thank you. Nor do I have the right to criticize a place I’ve never been or a people I’ve never met.

Every country has its problems, because they are all run by people who are fallible, and imperfect. Do I think some are perpetuating great evils? Absolutely, and I count my own country in that. But I also know that as a citizen it is my duty to do what I can to stop that evil, just as it’s the duty of every other citizen of every other country to do the same in theirs. I know those are easy words, especially coming from an American who can still criticize openly my own government without fear of reprisal.

But that doesn’t make my words any less true.

You want to criticize the United States, you have that right. But understand, too, if you are a citizen of a different country, perhaps you should clean up your own backyard before pointing out the flaws of your neighbor’s.

Or as Jesus put it in Matthew 7:3-5: “And why worry about the speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

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