Ever get something in your eye and you can’t seem to get it out? These tiny, nagging irritants can help us think about Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7 about criticizing others.
Matthew 7:1-5, “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
I was thinking, “Would I go to a doctor to have something removed who was vision impaired?”
Jesus does not forbid criticism, options, or the condemnation of wrong doing. We must be willing to stand for what is right in the sight of the Lord. We are to help one another to overcome. What He forbids is a critical or religious spirit. The spirit of fault finding that overlooks our own shortcomings while assuming the role of supreme judge in regard to the sin of ours.
Jesus explained to the listener how foolish it is for a person to criticize someone without seeking his or her own guilty of error. If we can find someone else’s little speck while ignoring the hunk of wood in our own eye, something’s wrong. It should be unthinkable to ignore our own faults while pointing out someone else’s.
An attitude of self-righteousness has no place in the Christian life. We must inspect our own lives before we look for specks in others and pray, “Dear Lord, help me not to get caught up in pointing out the “little” sins in others’ lives, while ignoring my own glaring sin. I am thankful that with repentance comes forgiveness. Amen. Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. We can’t expect dogs to valve the Word of God (or hold as truth). As well, we cannot expect pigs to understand His grace and righteousness at work in our lives. They will spin what they’ve hear to hurt or destroy us (destroy our credibility).
In Matthew 7:7-12 Jesus goes on to say, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Ephesians 5:8-21, 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as .wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
There are very few moments when we ourselves are perfect (if ever). Only in God’s grace and mercy do we find perfection. Together with the Holy Spirit, we can learn to walk in God’s holiness, grace, mercy and love.
Don’t look to find fault…look to rescue people.