Of Specks and Logs

My last blog post was “Finding Time for Bible Reading.” This article also appeared in a church bulletin in print and emailed as a PDF. I corrected my mistake for the blog, but I made an embarrassing mistake in the printed editions.

I used a chart from Crossway which gave the times it took to read the Bible at various intervals from one week to two years. I noticed a math error in the one month column. But the problem was complicated because for the bulletin because I created a chart so that it could be easily read. In transcribing the chart into my own table, I made a transcription error in the 1 month column. Instead of reading 1 hr. 53 min. a day, my mistake read 2 hr. 53 mins. Now I had a math error of 1 hr. 1 min. instead of just 1 min in the original. I probably would not have drawn attention to a 1 minute error, but a one hour mistake was something I noted. Unfortunately, I thought Crossway had made the big mistake, where actually I was the culprit. My apologies to Crossway. Their excellent article is here.

I was reminded of Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3, ESV) I spotted what was a small math error by someone else, but it took me longer to spot the much larger transcription error created by me. Jesus’ caution is for all of us even ministers and writers.

I did email a correction to the email list. But the problem with something printed and in a PDF is that it may appear in someone else’s church bulletin with the mistake. That bothers me, but it is a lesson about words. Once we’ve said them or written them, they are outside our control.

I make mistakes, but one of the lessons I’ve learned in life is to be honest and admit them. May we be on the lookout for the beams in our eyes. May we never be too proud to admit a mistake and to eat a slice of humble pie.

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