Take the Plank Out of Your Eye First
By: Amanda Idleman
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? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. - Matthew 7:3-5
Recently, our home got a little crazier as we welcomed a 3-month-old foster baby while already raising our three young kids. As a result, my husband and I have been sleep-deprived and just a wee bit more grouchy than normal. Given our circumstances and our raised stress levels, the resulting lack of patience is understandable.
Yet, somehow the other morning while I was on my way to the gym, I started sketching out in my mind the ways I was going to preach my husband into a better attitude. I was going to tell him that he needed to be cheerful at 3 am when one of us has to get up and give this new baby a bottle. He needed to let all the new stress, demands, and emotions just roll off his back without expressing frustration.
This was my great plan until that still small voice whispered three little words, “What about you?” Huh? Those words stopped me in my tracks. My perfectly crafted rant to my husband, which likely would disastrously end in an all-out argument, would have to wait. I realized for the first time in a long time that I was a hypocrite.
How many times do we badger our spouses over the things we think they are doing wrong, all while overlooking our own failures? Clearly, I am very guilty of this. Proverbs 21:2 tells us that all our ways seem right to ourselves. I think that’s probably why God designed marriage in the first place. On our own, we tend to get more and more immune to our own sin. Living in close proximity means you on occasion you are forced to face your mistakes. The silver lining of these hard moments in our marriage is that these are our chances to grow!
So, let’s pray together that the next time we are tempted to bring our spouse's failures to their attention, we take a moment and think through the part we play in the situation. A better approach is working on ourselves before trying to reform our partners. This way God grows in us and grace is shown to our spouses through us when they do miss the mark. That’s a win, win!
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for the Daily Bible Devotions App, she has work published with Her View from Home, also for the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her blog or follow her on Instagram.
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