Matthew 7:3-5 3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
This past Sunday, Dr. Wood referenced this passage from Matthew’s Gospel. As he did so, it struck me how personal and literal I take this verse. Why? Because when I was 8 years old, my cousin threw a stick into my eye. I vividly remember what it feels like to have a stick in the eye. In fact, the eye doctor informed me that I was millimeters away from losing my
eyesight in that eye. As a result, I have a permanent scar from that incident.
Therefore, whenever I hear this verse mentioned, I am reminded of the danger and discomfort of neglecting our own personal shortcomings. While we may be quick to point out the faults of those around us, we need to be aware of how flawed we are.
When the stick was in my eye, I tried to play it off and act all tough as though nothing had happened. My cousin knew better and ran for help, but I still tried to diminish the fact that I had a stick in my eye. Do we not also do the same with the things in our lives that cause us to
sin? Do we not strut around pretending that we are okay, yet the ones closest to us know the true depth of our problem; they can see more clearly.
And now, ever time I go to the eye doctor for contacts I get asked what the scar was from. The rest of the year I typically forget about that experience, but the scar remains. Likewise, we all carrying around scars from incidents in our pasts, and if we are quick to judge other people while neglecting the fact that we too carry these scars we are not seeing
What I love about Jesus comment is that it actually still allows us to challenge our friends in how they decide to live out their lives. But Jesus tells us to first take care of the stick in our own eye—the things in our own lives that cause us to stumble—and then we are able to “see clearly” in order to help our friends, family and coworkers.
What ways are living right now that cause discomfort? Who is a trusted friend that could see the problem more clearly for you? What scars do you carry from past incidents? How might you gain clarity over your own life in order that you may be able to help others see more clearly?