Beams and Specks

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Matthew 7: 3-5

This is a famous passage dealing with being a hypocrite.  Jesus talks about how we like to see the “mote that is in thy brother’s eye,” and how we also like to avoid seeing “the beam that is in thine own eye.”  Doesn’t that sound like something we would do?  We search for the tiniest flaws in others, but we excuse the biggest problems in our own lives.

According to the dictionary, a “mote” is a “small particle or speck, especially of dust.”  A beam is a beam.  We can see the speck of dust in someone else’s eye, but we cannot see the giant beam sticking out of our own eye.  Of course, the reason for this is simply that we are looking for the speck of dust in everyone else.  The truth is, if we are looking for a flaw in anyone (including ourselves), we are probably going to find something.

I find it interesting that Jesus does tell us to help our brother with the mote that is in his eye.  But we are first told to get the beam out of our own eye.  We can’t help others with their problems until we have fixed our own problems.  We can’t help others live for the Lord unless we are living for the Lord.  That is where the hypocrite part comes in: often, we don’t want to help others with their problems, we simply want to find their problems so that ours don’t look quite as bad.  We do need to be helping others, but we had better make sure that we are in a position to help and not just point out the flaws of others.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Just pointing at someone’s flaws isn’t really helpful, is it? I know when it’s done to me, I only feel discouraged and bad. God bless you Ben as you help us consider these things! Oh, and there was a band called Plank Eye . . .not sure if there still is or not, but good name, eh?

    Reply

  2. Thank you, Ben

    “often, we don’t want to help others with their problems, we simply want to find their problems so that ours don’t look quite as bad”

    I listened to a sermon once where the speaker admitted to being overweight by about 60 lbs. He also mentioned how small he looks when standing next to his friend who is overweight by 200 lbs. He drew a similar conclusion.

    Unless we look at others through His eyes, we are always going to see beams and specks even when they don’t exist.

    May we trust Him enough to let Him direct our vision.

    Blessings
    ann

    Reply

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