"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
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."
Lately, Grayden has been looking at the specks of sawdust in his brother's eye while completely oblivious to the PLANKS in his own.
He has taken it upon himself to become Cole's walking conscience, pointing out his flaws and mishaps at every turn.
Just yesterday I heard him self-righteously inform Cole that he was "not kind" to Allie.
While Grayden did accurately point out Cole's speck of sawdust (Cole was being unkind to Allie), what he failed to do was recognize that not even five minutes before he had been unkind to Cole. While playing football outside, he had antagonized Cole by making him think he was going to get a touchdown, only to at the last minute viciously tackle him to the ground. He ran half-speed at Cole yelling, "You're going to score" and then took great pleasure in flipping his 6-year old running switch to easily overtake Cole and deny him a touchdown. You should have seen the smirk and delight on his face. It was extremely unkind.
So as I listened to Grayden judge Cole for his treatment of Allie, I couldn't help but see the irony. He was completely oblivious to the PLANK in his own eye. He had no room to judge.
And in case you've already thought it, I DON'T miss the even deeper irony that as I'm writing this I am reminded of how unkindly I often speak to Grayden and Cole. Just yesterday, they were running around like crazy in the house (like all kids do) and I said something to the effect of, "You're driving me crazy. Go to another room." What kind of mother tells her children to go away? Clearly, I've got my OWN plank.
Part of my God-given job description is to help remove the specks of sawdust from my children's eyes, but how can I effectively do that with a truck load of planks in my own?
The disturbing truth is that it's rather easy to see the specks of sawdust in our "brother's" eye, while sins like PRIDE, SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, and HYPOCRISY blind us to our own planks.
The point Jesus is making in this moral teaching is that while its easy to see the sawdust in other's eyes, BE WARNED: Don't be a hypocrite! With the measure you and I use to judge others, that same measure will be used against us. I don't know about you, but I've got some serious PLANKS...so this greatly concerns me.
These verses in Matthew are a healthy reminder for us to resist the constant urge to fuel a self-righteous judgmental spirit. Jesus reminds us that there is nothing more pathetic and deserving of judgment than a hypocrite.
So as much as it pains me to admit, I needed to be reminded that I've Got Planks. One, because lately with both my children and my husband I've been pointing out specks of sawdust while oblivious to my own massive planks. I needed a Holy Spirit reprimand: Quit being a hypocrite! And two, because it reminds me to pray that my kids won't judge each other and the rest of the world with a hypocritical, judgmental spirit.
Will you join me today?
This moral lesson in Matthew 7 is one I can never be reminded of enough. Just when I start to flippantly judge others and point out their sawdust, I need a firm "You hypocrite!" reminder from You. I pray I would be slow to judge others by pointing out their sawdust sins. I pray Your Holy Spirit would help me see my own planks. And ONLY after I've removed my own planks will You give me discretion and wisdom in regards to "removing the speck" from another's eye.
I pray this for my children as well. Through the Spirit's counsel will You help them to clearly see their own planks of sin. I pray You would open their eyes to pride, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy when a judgmental spirit rises up. I pray they would lead by example rather than by judging and pointing out specks of sawdust in others. And I pray they would heed Your warning regarding what measure they use to judge others. I pray they would be humble and gracious to others struggling with sin and refrain from placing judgment until they've dealt with their own rotten planks.