Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 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? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matt. 7:2-5
I suffer from tendencies. The word tendency means how one generally behaves in a situation is predictable based off of past behavior in similar situations. I have a tendency when it comes to how I interpret God’s Word. This tendency happens when I hear a good sermon or read a good Christian book. I tend to take the things that I have heard or read and think about how they apply to others. How the politicians need to hear this or how liberal preachers need to be reformed by that. I think about people I know well and how they could benefit from this word if they only apply it. And I feel good about this tendency. After all, I am only trying to help others be more Christ-like. You have this same disease.
Show a lot of grace to myself
I am much less critical of myself. I do not scrutinize my own life in the same way I scrutinize the politician or liberal pastor or Christian brother or sister who has faults. I don’t take as serious my own sinfulness as I do the sinfulness of others. I am easily annoyed by their shortcomings and sins but not so much by my own. I get angry at how ignorant people can be but don’t like for people to point out my own ignorance. I am tough on them but easy on myself. Or even if I am tough on myself it just is to feel guilty but I don’t really do a throng to change the issue.
I pride myself in being quick to perceive the splinter in other people’s eye. After all, a splinter of wood in your eye would hurt something awful. So I am being a good brother by helping you remove it from your eye. I even justify it by my gifts. I am discerning and a leader. It is my job to help others be better. All this effort and energy without near as much thought to my own issue… the log in my eye.
What if I put the same energy and time that I spend diagnosing everyone’s else issues into taking an honest look into my own sinfulness? It takes courage to confront my own log. It’s much more comfortable to deal with the splinters of others than to face the truth of one’s own failing and sin.
Are we being hypocritical?
Jesus calls my tendency hypocritical. That stings, but no doubt true when I concern myself so much about other people’s issues and not nearly enough about my own. I feel great conviction from this and have spent time today repenting of my hypocrisy. I want to break this evil tendency. I don’t want to live under such deception any longer.
What might God do in us if we started reading the Word, hungry to see what it says to us? To let the first reflection not be about others but about our own shortcomings, our own sin. Let the Word read you first today. Be slow to call out the splinter in the eyes of others when you are walking around quite clueless of the log that is lodged in your own eye.
Let me say it this way:
Let the word read you today!