Remove the Plank
"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 NIV
Thoughts for Today
In today's scripture, Jesus describes a type of hypocrisy most of us have experienced. We are quick to condemn others when we should be examining our own lives. Often our sin surpasses theirs.
Only God should judge. He knows everything and judges accurately, impartially, and according to truth. We are too limited to make the same quality judgments. He can judge the heart, and all we can judge are the actions.
And what right do we have to condemn others? We are not perfect. Jesus made this clear to the crowd condemning the woman caught in adultery (John 8:6-11). They were clamoring to stone her, but Jesus asked, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her" (NIV). One by one, her accusers disappeared.
When we see people we know falling into sin, our response should not be to judge or condemn them, but to help them. We are not perfect and cannot condemn others for their lack of perfection.
Jesus says that before we can help them, we need to have a look at our own lives. Are we involved in wrongdoing that might cloud our wisdom and hamper our ability to help? That might hinder our prayers for them? Jesus says to get the plank out of our own eye--only then will we see clearly enough to help our friends with their problems.
Father, I know I am sometimes quick to judge--and to condemn. Please forgive me. Help me to examine my own life first so I can see clearly to help others who have gone astray. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Completely Free! A Group Study of Romans 1-8 by Dan Strickland. Everyone struggles from time-to-time, but we can have confidence that in Christ we are completely free from sin's slavery, from condemnation, and from fear of failure. This group study of Romans 1-8 and 12 helps Christians break out of the dull routine of a stagnant spiritual life. Applying the truths found in Romans can transform any believer into a person eager to follow God's will. This study can also serve as a powerful evangelistic tool by explaining the message of salvation as presented in Romans. Suggested uses include home Bible studies, cell groups, Sunday school classes, support groups and personal enrichment.
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