On Logs and Splinters
"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, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."1
An issue of Our Daily Bread shares and incident in the life of English evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770). On one occasion Whitefield received a very critical letter accusing him of doing something wrong. His reply was brief and to the point: "I thank you heartily for your letter. As for what you and my other enemies are saying against me, I know worse things about myself than you will ever say about me. With love in Christ, George Whitefield."
Whitefield didn't defend himself. Probably because he wasn't guilty of doing the thing he was being accused of. We often get defensive when we are guilty, or if we are more concerned about our image than we are about pleasing God, or if we are insecure and need to appear "perfect" in the eyes of others.
The fact is, we are all sinners and we all have faults and make our share of mistakes. So, before we try to take the speck out of another's eye, let us first, as Jesus suggested, take the log out of our own.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from the sin of a critical attitude that is constantly looking for a speck in another's eye as a means of avoiding the log in my own eye. Please give me the willingness to see the log in my own eye, and make the changes in my life that need correction. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Luke 6:41-42 (NIV).