“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?”
Matthew 7:3 (NIV)Before you judge someone else, remember that you have blind spots in your own life. Blind spots are attitudes or weaknesses in your life that you cannot see or refuse to see, even though they cause conflict with others.
For instance, you may be constantly argumentative and not realize you keep turning simple conversations into debates. Jesus says that when you feel the urge to judge someone because of their blind spots, think of it as an opportunity to uncover your own and to address them.
He talked about this in the Sermon on the Mount: “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” (Matthew 7:3-5 NIV).
He’s saying, “How dare you? Why are you so concerned about the sin in someone’s else’s life when you haven’t dealt with the even greater sin in your own life? Take care of your blind spots so that you will be able to see clearly to help others.”
Have you noticed that you tend to judge in others what you dislike in yourself? If you’re lazy and you know it—and you don’t like that about yourself—then you tend to see it more in others and judge them. If you’re prideful or greedy, you tend to spot that quickly in other people. Whatever you tend to struggle with, you’ll notice in others more easily.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:31, “If we judged ourselves in the right way, God would not judge us” (NCV).
Think about what that verse is saying: If we would seriously examine our lives and self-evaluate our own weaknesses, faults, and failures, then God wouldn’t have to judge us.
God is for you, not against you. He already knows your blind spots, and he wants to help you address them so that you can mature in your faith.Talk It Over
- What sin do you tend to see most clearly and readily in others? What does that tell you about the sin that might be in your own life?
- What does it mean to self-evaluate?
- When you feel the urge to judge someone, what should that remind you to do instead?