“And why worry about a 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?” (Matthew 7:3-4, NLT)
Jesus moved from condemning the act of judging others to the hypocrisy of trying to fix other’s problems to the neglect of one’s own problems. Jesus used hyperbole to make his point regarding the foolishness of fixing one’s gaze on something minor is someone else’s life while failing to note the significant error in their own life.
His words speak to the fact that judges have the tendency to maximize the faults of others while minimizing their own. Too often we are tempted to condemn the weaknesses in others that we are not willing to face in ourselves. We self promote when we put someone down simply to elevate ourselves.
The truth is that the best way to help others is from a position of health, where you have first dealt with yourself. John R.W. Stott once wrote that condemnation IS the splinter in our own lives. We would all do well by taking time to look within before we look around.
Tomorrow I’ll post some thoughts on Jesus’ conclusion to this very difficult theme.