Logs and Specks

Logs and Specks
Author: Andrew ArcherStudent Ministry Director
Ten - Part 4
Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the splinter out of your eye, and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye?" Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.
– Matthew 7:3-5
Do you ever find that when you’re sitting in church, and the pastor makes a great point, you immediately think of someone who you wish could be hearing this? Maybe it’s that one coworker who always gets on your nerves? Or maybe, it’s that one relative who brings the vibe down every November at the Thanksgiving dinner table? Or worse yet, maybe, that person is sitting right next to you, so you nudge them ever-so lovingly with your elbow.

This past Sunday, as Pastor Josh was continuing our series, “Ten,” that was me. As he was elevating the bar for us as God’s people when it comes to how we use our words, I was thinking about all of the people I know who need to reign in their tongues. How should I tell them? Maybe I’ll passive-aggressively share the YouTube link? Nah, they’ll know what I’m doing. I could ask if they listened to the talk today and their thoughts. That might work.

Then it hit me. What if I’m the person that needs to hear this message? While I do genuinely believe that my heart was well-intentioned as I was thinking of those people who I thought needed to hear the message, I was missing a vital step in Jesus’ process to encourage others to walk in the truth, first doing so with myself.

By beginning in the mirror and looking at the log in your eye, you will understand that you are not quite as well off as you might have first thought.

Now, let’s be clear, Jesus doesn’t say “Don’t ever take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” We are to do so, after all, it is the loving thing to do. Having something stuck in your eye is one of life’s greatest annoyances and so it would be loving of me to try to help a brother get that thing out of their eye. However, we need to do so with humility and compassion.

By beginning in the mirror and looking at the log in your eye, you will understand that you are not quite as well off as you might have first thought. This will cause you to approach your friend from a different perspective entirely and it will almost certainly lead to a greater level of openness in receiving what you want to share with them. Because you won’t be speaking down to them from your high horse as someone who has it all together, but rather as someone else who understands what they’re going through and that the answer you both need is Jesus.

So, join me this week in taking the log out of our own eyes before we look to take the speck out of everyone else's. Rather than looking to ensure that everyone else around you is honoring God with their language, start with yourself. Ask God to reveal to you how you aren’t measuring up and plead with His Spirit to come and continue to transform you into one who honors God with your every word. 
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.
– Psalm 139:23-24

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