Before I get to them, I should start with me

We have been looking at what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7.

He spoke about getting the plank out of our own eye before getting the speck out of our brother’s eye. How can we be sure we are seeing clearly to remove a speck in someone else’s eye when there is a plank in our own? In other words, how can we fix somebody else when we have so much brokenness and dysfunction in our own lives?

Unfortunately, we often don’t see as clearly as we think we do. Truth be told, we have not arrived. We may have more work to do personally. Or better said, God may have more work to do in us and on us as he seeks to refine in us the image of his son.

Jesus then said something unexpected. I am sure it must have been a little awkward and uncomfortable to hear if you were there in person. He said, “You hypocrite…” Why would Jesus say something that seems so harsh?

He said it because it is hypocritical to talk about everyone else’s issues while I still have so many issues of my own left to work out. Some might say it is about minding your own business. To be honest, it isn’t about minding your own business as much as it is about starting with your own business. “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye …” (Matthew 7:5a)

Sometimes, we get things out of order, don’t we? First, we are to get the plank out of our own eye. Do that before you try to fix the other person. Start with the plank, not the speck, and understand it is mine, not theirs. Before you get to them, Jesus says you need to start with you.

Are you willing to ask the Lord where you may be at fault? This isn’t easy. It takes a higher level of spiritual maturity to be able to sense what the Lord may be saying to you when it comes to matters like these. Be willing to consider what you could have said or done to contribute to the problem. Think about how you could have handled things differently.

Again, the only one I can do anything about is me. Ask the Lord to turn his searchlight on your soul and then be open to what the spirit of God may reveal about your part in the broken relationship(s) in your life.

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 Send comments to [email protected].