Read Matthew 7:1-5
1 “Do not judge others,and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 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? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. (NLT)
First,let’s make it clear that Jesus isn’t telling us never to criticise others. He did some of that himself. Constructive criticism can be helpful to all concerned. Jesus is warning against a judgemental type of criticism which is blind to our own failings and very harsh on others’ failings. People like that can’t possibly offer helpful criticism because they are unaware of their own issues. We can certainly be critical,remove a speck,but only if we have clear vision. Otherwise we will make a mess of things.
Our text is a warning about not dealing with our own problems by way of occupying ourselves with others’ problems. It is a valuable,if disturbing,exercise to realise that the things that irritate us about others may well be the things that are issues in our own lives. Instead of focussing on what is wrong with that other person,we ask ourselves what is wrong with us.
That gossip we often criticise might uncomfortably remind ourselves of our own gossiping tendencies. That opinionated show off might be a reflection of our own inclination to parade our own opinions with arrogance. That timid and anxious person we look down on might remind us of our own more secret fears.
Only as our logs go can the specks go.