Wouldn’t it be odd to walk down the street and to see a person with a big plank in his eye? I bet it wouldn’t take long for us to poke our friends and say, “Hey, did you see that dude with the big plank in his eye?” Even Jesus knew that we are quick to point out things that are wrong others and slow to notice things that are wrong in our own lives. Take a look at the great word pictures Jesus gives us in Matthew 7:3-5 and Luke 6:41-42. Jesus turned things around a little. He says that “WE” are the ones walking around with the big planks in our eyes and trying to focus on the little specks of dirt in other people’s eyes.
What Jesus was trying to teach was that I shouldn’t focus so much on others’ and their sins. The first thing to do is to take a look in the mirror or better yet…check my heart. Instead of judging my actions against my friend’s actions, I need to judge my actions against God’s standards. When I start thinking about my actions based on what God says, I can then have a right attitude about my sin instead of being focused on the sin of others.
Here are four things I need to do to focus on my sin:
- Stop trying to make myself look good by focusing on somebody else’s sin. I can’t measure myself by how good or bad someone else is. My measuring stick is what God says is right and wrong – not how much better I am compared to someone else’s behavior.
- Don’t talk about others and their faults. If I gossip about someone else’s behavior, I am sinning too. Gossip is a sin.
- Know that God considers all sin equal. There are no “big” sins and “little” sins in God’s eyes. I might kid myself and think some sin is worse than others, but God doesn’t have levels of sin.
- Don’t kid yourself about your sin. God sees everything, hears everything, and knows everything. The things I think nobody knows about – God already knows. I might as well come clean with God and admit to Him those things I am trying to hide.
To keep from having a plank in my eye, I should make this prayer part of my morning routine:
Help me live by your guidelines today. Lead me to be quick to see my sin and to ask for forgiveness.
Stop me before I compare myself to someone else. Help me not to make fun of others and their sin or to act like their sin is “so much bigger” than my own. Lead me to always be honest with You.
In my own life, I have found that I am GREAT at seeing the microscopic speck in someone else’s life. What I want to find is that I become great at removing the large planks in my own life and keeping my focus on my sin and not the sin of those around me.
> Joy Emery