By Pastor Kevin Van Wyk
Have you noticed that lady in church who gossips all the time? Did you see that church member swerving as he pulled out of the bar’s parking lot? What about the guy cheating on his wife? The high schooler sleeping with his girlfriend? The guy who always grumbles? Or the young lady who just told her family she is gay?
How did you respond? What was going on in your heart?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people quote Jesus…
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged…
3 “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? 4 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?” (Mat. 7:1-4 NIV)
There is a clear message that I am wrongfully judging another, and they are rightly correcting my judgmental attitude. Who’s guilty? Everybody, I imagine.
So, what does Jesus want from us? We must finish the passage we started…
“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye…” (Mat. 7:5 NIV)
Have you looked in your eye lately? How about your heart? If you’ve had the courage to do that, then God probably pointed out an issue or two. If not, I would guess you weren’t really listening or looking very hard. Take a moment. Listen. Look. What is the Spirit revealing to you about your actions and attitudes? That little issue is a plank, a 2x8, sticking in your eye! Jesus says FIRST take it out. Not just confess it, remove it. You may think you see clearly, but if you have not de-planked your eye lately, your sin-cataract is leaving a blind spot.
That was not the end of Jesus’ message however…
“…and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Mat. 7:5 NIV)
Read it again. If you are de-planking (as you will always need to do), then you must help your brother. Notice it’s not just pointing out your brother’s speck, but helping them remove it. But how do we do that? Here are some thoughts…
Now remember, this is our approach for brothers and sisters in Christ. Grace and truth coming on the hands of friends. We cannot overlook our plank or our brother’s speck. Please, don’t misuse this text and forbid judging altogether. Let’s find ways to heal our vision together.