Nothing is more irritating when you wear contacts than a speck of dust or a loose eyelash. That little irritant will make your eye burn and turn red faster than anything. You feel like you have a log in your eye. Often you need someone to help you find the culprit. Once that speck is gone your whole body feels ten times better. Helping someone find an eyelash is helpful. Pointing out someone’s flaw is akin to searching for the speck in their eye when you have a log in yours.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Focus on the Right Thing
Jesus addresses the issuing of judging others near the end of the Sermon on the Mount. He starts the chapter by telling us not to judge others because we will be judged by the same standards. Then he uses the metaphor of a splinter and a log to describe what is going on when we do judge others. To judge someone else is to point out something very insignificant when we have our own much bigger issues.
We are not very good at judging ourselves. We tend to overlook our shortcomings. Psychologists call these blind spots, problems we have that we can’t see but everyone else can. If someone brings them up, we usually get defensive and can make endless excuses for why we act that way. Jesus is trying to get us to stop judging others while at the same time getting us to own up to our issues.
Strive to Encourage
Instead of being critical let’s strive to be encouragers. All of have our issues. When we attempt to build each other up instead of tearing down, we foster an atmosphere of trust and transparency. When judgment and criticism are present, it produces insecurity and defensiveness. The church should be a place where broken people come to get healed and restored not judged. We need to be welcoming to those who God has brought to us. Remember we were once in that position too.