On Sawdust and Planks
"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?"1
One of the first rules in a healthy support group is to not confess anybody else's sins and faults but your own.
I think the following rule (though not likely to ever happen) should apply to every newspaper journalist, radio and TV commentator, and every politician in that they should never be allowed to confess another's sins publicly without having first confessed their own publicly! This surely would silence a whole lot of negative, nasty, and dishonest criticism.
As Greg Laurie said, "Show me a person who is hyper-critical, and I will show you a person who is guilty of far worse sin in his own life. David was guilty of adultery and of premeditated murder. Yet he thought it perfectly just to kill a man who had merely stolen his neighbor's sheep. Of all people, King David should have been 'Mr. Compassion.' But instead, he was 'Mr. Hypocrisy.' He fell neatly into Nathan's little prophetic trap, as the prophet pointed his finger straight at David and said, 'You are the man.'"
Here's another possible pitfall, to quote Cecil Osborne again: "When we are hiding a deeper sin or fault, we tend to confess a lesser one all the more vigorously," to which I would add, "or we confess someone else's sins and faults."
We can't expect open honesty with many non-Christians but, for those of us who claim to be Christ followers, before we look at the sawdust in another's eye, let us make sure we get rid of the plank in our own eye.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from the sin of having a critical, negative attitude and help me to see that when I do criticize, it has more to do with me than the one whom I am condemning. Please help me to see and get rid of any planks in my eyes. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Jesus in Matthew 7:3 (NIV).