“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?
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Matthew 7:3-5 NKJV
How often do we judge people? How often are we more interested in other peoples shortcomings and faults? How often have we looked away from ourselves and looked at others to either judge them or find fault?
The passage we read today is an aspect of Jesus' sermon on the mount. Notice, the Master asks a question which is very much relevant in the church and the society as a whole - 'And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye'? This indeed calls for individual self assessment each time we find ourselves in a position to judge others. It is an opportunity to examine our own motives and conducts instead of judging others. In other words 'mirror first'! Also notice that the verse suggests that there is a 'plank' over our eyes to consider.
Take a moment and have a think! If there is a plank over our eyes, that means our vision is impaired. It could also mean - we are unable to make a proper assessment and judgement on other people; we are not really seeing others for who they really are in our judgement of them.
The Master goes on to say - how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Re-emphasising that before we judge, lets ensure our views and lives are clean. You know, when we point a finger to others, there are three fingers pointing back at us, so to say. It is possible that the traits that bother us in others are often the habits we have ourselves. These bad habits and behaviourial patterns are the very ones that we most want to change in others. And we often find it easy to magnify others faults while excusing our own.
Then the Master says First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Mirror first! This will enable us to see people for who they really are. This will help us to make room for others faults and mistakes. This will allow us to forgive others knowing we are products of forgiveness ourselves. This will enable us to love and help others.
Let's take some time and reflect on the passage in order to reassess ourselves as the master has suggested; and do so each time we find ourselves in a position to judge others. May the Lord help us in Jesus name. Amen.
Have a wonderful week and let us all remember: mirror first!