Biblical WarningsDevotionalThis Christian Life

There’s a Log in Your Eye!

By October 4, 2021 No Comments

1 “Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at 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,’ and look, the log is 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!” — Matthew 7:1-5 NASB

Lessons from Matthew 7

We’ve all heard itdo not judge, lest you be judged. This phrase comes from a teaching by Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 7. Usually, I think we consider “judging” others as “bad.” And most of the time, it is. But, I can’t help wondering: what if we’re not being negative? What if we’re trying to help? Or, what if we’re just considering what we would do in that situation? 

Take a look at the above passage from Matthew 7.

Do you see that Jesus is going far beyond the “don’t judge me” attitude in this teaching? Let me show you what I mean with a few examples. 

An Opportunity to Grow

What if you drove past your neighbor’s house, saw a lot of weeds in the yard and thought, “looks like they need to get to their lawn this weekend.” It’s not a judgment, is it? You could defend yourself by saying it was just a statement of fact. But, by your standard of measure you will be measured. Is your lawn always perfect? What if there’s been a death in the family? Do you think they should get to those weeds now?

What if you heard about the death in the family and decided to help them by tackling their yard? Let me take that speck out of your eye neighbor. There’s nothing “judgmental” about the brother offering to take the speck out of his brother’s eye. Is there? 

The problem is not the helping, but the failure to notice what’s “in your own eye.” The growth opportunity is for us to acknowledge that we have problems in our own lives, to admit that we do not have it all together. There’s a log in our own eye! 

It’s not that it wouldn’t be nice or Christian of you to do your neighbor’s lawn in their time of need. That’s not the issue. The issue is the standard you are putting up to measure someone else’s conduct. 

Neglecting Our Own Blind Spots

Jesus is teaching us to look carefully at our own behaviors, our own lives before we put up any kind of “standard” for others. I think Jesus is telling us to be careful how we view other people because everyone has that “blind spot” in their own life. We all have something that we don’t notice that may be obvious to others.

Jesus takes this concept one step further: 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!

I think Jesus is warning us to notice and remedy our “blind spot” problem before we offer to jump in and help someone else “fix” something similar. For example, if you are going through marital problems, perhaps you should wait until your marriage is better before you try to help someone else in their marriage. If you don’t remove your own problem, your advice will most likely be colored by that “log” in your own eye.

I’ve found this to be true in my own life. When I was deep in the pit of grief, I was in no shape to minister to someone else walking through any kind of sorrow. In those early years, my tone usually came across too strong. I could sound angry at times, even when that was not part of the message I was trying to convey. I needed to heal. It took me about ten years after losing our son to write something that I thought led people to Jesus without tripping over me! 

From “Mess” to “Message”

Have you ever heard the phrase “let your mess be your message”? I’ve heard this many times and know that it’s true. God does use our messes to bring His message to others. Absolutely. Trouble to triumph is a powerful testimony. However, keep in mind that those impactful stories are testimonies because that person has come through the circumstances a changed person because of a deeper walk with God.  

I think the bottom line to this teaching is to take a good look at yourself and try to remove the “log” in your own life before you set a standard for someone else’s life. For myself, I think the chances are good that I won’t ever get to that last step because I’ll be too busy removing logs from my own eyes!

What about you? Do you tend to jump to judgment about a situation or person? Even if you’re being nice, has your mind set a standard for someone else? 

Are you in the middle of a mess right now? Give yourself some space and grace to heal before you dive in to help others. 

Prayer:

Jesus, thank You for saving me from judgment! You took my judgment and my penalty so that I could be in a relationship with the Almighty Father. Help me to remove thoughts and words that judge others. Clear my heart, mind, and lips from setting standards for others, Lord. Only You are worthy to judge or set standards. Allow the Holy Spirit to clean my thoughts about others, Lord. Open my eyes to see what You would have me work on in my own life. Help me to remove anything that is not pleasing to You, O God. Father, restore me to a place where I can minister to hurting people and point them towards Jesus. Fill me with Your love, Lord, so I’m overflowing in love instead of jumping to judgment. Change me in the power of Your son’s name. Amen!

 


For even more from Kim Erickson, check out her book His Last Words: What Jesus Taught and Prayed in His Final Hours (John 13-17).

Imagine knowing you only have several more hours to live. Picture the faces of your loved ones gathered around you. Allow the emotions to rise up in your heart.

What would you say?

John 13–17 records Jesus’ last words to the disciples before His death, revealing what was most important to Him. When we study those words and prayers today, we enter deep into the heart of Jesus and come away changed: overwhelmed by the love of God, inspired to follow Him, and empowered to spread the gospel.

Kim Erickson

Kim Erickson

Kim Erickson is an attorney, practicing immigration law, and lives in Florida with her husband, Devin, and son, Ethan. She began following Christ after the death of her three-year-old son. Jesus and the Bible saved Kim from the pit of grieving the loss of a child. Kim began a writing and teaching ministry to help other women find outrageous joy from a deeper relationship with God. You can learn more at www.KimAErickson.com or reach out to her directly at [email protected]

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