One day, Jesus asked an unusual question: “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?” (Matthew 7:3)
We’re all so good at seeing the speck in someone else’s eye. Why do you think we are so focused on what they did? We can’t do anything about what they did anyway. Why don’t we pay any attention to what we did, which we can do something about?
Jesus knows what you did, and he knows what they did, and he knows all of the circumstances surrounding what happened. Still, he spoke about the speck we see in our brother’s eye while paying no attention to the plank in our own eye.
In our minds, what they did is not a speck. She walked out. He said this. She did that. In our opinion, what they did is not a speck of sawdust. It is no small thing. It is a big deal. And I don’t have a plank in my own eye. I may not be perfect, but this isn’t my fault.
We tend to act like Jesus got it backward. We want to say, “Jesus, I think they are the ones with the plank, and I am the one with the speck. I was there when it happened. I get it. I have the right perspective. In fact, I may be the only one with the proper perspective. It wasn’t my fault. It is never my fault. How could it be my fault? I am the one who is emotionally healthy and the most mature. If they ever begin to see it as clearly as I do, I’ll be right here. I am waiting. I am ready. I am listening. But it wasn’t my fault.”
Jesus went on to ask another question. He said, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Permit me to get the speck out of your eye …’” (Matthew 7:4a) Jesus is saying how can you say to someone else “Let me fix you” when you are just as broken? How can we be sure we are seeing clearly to fix somebody else?
Every time we tell the story about what happened, it always comes out the same way. I was there. I know what happened. I was the victim. I was the offended. They are the ones with the problem. It can’t be me. Take my word for it.
Please plan to join me again next week as we continue learning from Jesus on this important topic.
Steve Greene is the lead pastor at The Point in Seymour. You may email him at [email protected] His weekly blog can be found at pastorgreene.wordpress.com.