Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV 1984) " ' 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? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.' "
A recent evening at home proved to be a doozy. No one wanted to take responsibility; but everyone had someone to blame for everything that no one did. These famous words are forever etched in my brain, "Well . . . but my brother, he . . . uh . . . I didn't do it."
Human nature likes to point our finger at others to show what we're not doing so as to justify ourselves. It seems easier to pick out the flaws, weaknesses and shortcomings in those around us. In our attempt to bolster our ego we think if we're "not as bad as them" then we're not so bad, right?
Scripture tells us in Matthew 7 not to look at the sawdust in our brother's eye without first noticing the plank in our own eye. We can't even consider assisting them in the removal of the speck in their eye until the log in our own eye is first removed. Jesus isn't saying we can't point out the speck in our brother's eye. He is saying we can't point out our brother's speck when we have a huge log in our own.
- We want our husband to lead, but we won't submit.
- We want our children to listen to us, but we won't listen to our children.
- We want the church to meet our needs, but we don't volunteer to meet the needs in the church.
- We don't want others to gossip about us, but we have no problem gossiping about others.
- We criticize other people's priorities and use of their time or money, yet we remain undisciplined ourselves.
We must take away, dislodge, and eliminate the very things seeking to give us permission to condemn others in order to justify ourselves. This external extraction first requires internal subtraction.
We all have "logs" to expunge.
- Pride inhibits our ability to confess when we're wrong.
- Insecurity creates false assumptions between people.
- Being a control freak makes it difficult to admit someone else has a better idea.
- Stubbornness invokes a strong willed heart unwilling to relinquish power.
- Selfishness prevents us from seeing and caring for the needs of others.
Truth is, we should be pointing our finger at ourselves. We all have junk to deal with. When we point our own finger at ourselves, then we can accurately see our weaknesses for what they really are. This reality keeps us desperate for Christ.
When we take personal inventory of the logs in our life it should cause us to run to Christ and point us in His direction. This recognition keeps us humble and allows us to not elevate ourselves above anyone. Bottom line is, we should first look to examine ourselves in the light of Christ, before seeking to perform surgery on someone else.
Where are you pointing?
Write down the names of those you have judged and compared yourself to in the last week. Ask the Lord's forgiveness.
Write Matthew 7:3-5 on an index card and tape it to your bathroom mirror this week.
When and why do you feel justified to point your finger at o?
How do you tend to compare yourself to others?
What are some of the "logs" you are presently trying to extract? Be specific. Are you willing to admit you have them?
Heart Changing Word:
Matthew 7:1-2 " ' Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.' "
Luke 6:37 " ' Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.' "
Romans 14:10 "You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgement seat."
Copyright 2012 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.