Mt. 7:3-4: “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?”
Have you ever wondered if the speck we are seeing in someone else’s eye is really a reflection of the plank in our own eye? Perhaps the shadow of our plank is reflecting off the surface of their life.
It is so easy for us to notice the imperfections in others. Sometimes I think we even create issues that aren’t truly there, as a result of our own guilty consciences or our own inner feelings.
A simple example of this is a tired child who cries over the unfairness of everything. The real issue isn’t that everything everyone else is doing is actually unfair. The real issue is their own plank: they are tired and need to rest. The specks they are seeing in everyone else are only a reflection of their own plank.
The examples of planks grow more serious as we grow older: jealousy, insecurity, dishonesty, adultery, deception, addiction, two-facedness, etc. All can result in an hypocrisy in our lives…we have these things within us, but harshly project them onto others or judge them in error, when what we “think” we see in them is really the reflection of our own internal issues.
Has anyone else noticed this? This morning I read John 8 about the adulteress that was caught in the act and brought to Jesus for stoning. Certainly she had sinned and broken the law, but what Jesus asked her accusers was, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
It is so easy for us to see the sins in the lives of others, and sometimes, perhaps the sin we see is real, but we really need to worry more about our own issues.
When we notice specks in the lives of those around us more often than we notice them in ourselves, it is likely that we are actually carrying around a plank. Our plank is probably reflecting off of them and showing something that isn’t even there.
If that is the case, we need to seek the Lord’s counsel and help for our own sins and issues, and pray that the Lord would help us see others through His eyes of love. When we submit to the Lord and allow Him to change us, the Word says that we will see clearly to remove the speck from our brother’s eye. (If it’s our place to do so…and if there truly is one)
I hope that today, like me, you will bear with the specks on those around you, and ask God to remove the planks from your own life. What a happier environment we will create as we do so.
Trying not to leave splinters,