3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5 NKJV)
Jesus certainly has a way of dealing with our hang-ups, doesn’t He? In declaring anything of Heavenly value to anyone, there is always the element of self-evaluation that, if missed, can disqualify you from the benefits of the spiritual truth you share. Likewise, finding one’s place in the Kingdom of God requires a person to surrender all claims to a right to judge. That right belongs to God alone. We must refuse the temptation to allow others to put us in an exalted place, higher than we ourselves know we should be.
We are in a day and age of know-it-all self-servers. There are rarely occasions where people will speak to others around them to offer more than criticism. But I encourage you to consider the plank.
So, what is the plank? The plank is something indicative of the issues people have that prevent them from fulfilling God’s will.
There is no “pecking order” in Christ. There should be no distinction between a Christian, a good Christian, and a better Christian. Either you are Christ-like or you are not. Moreover, if you’re not, try this: Tell death to wait until you attain Christ-likeness. Silly thought isn’t it?
Matt. 25:13 says “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” So be ready, and stay ready.
God has the role of judge. So with this knowledge, help and encourage your brother but don’t judge him. It is amazing how much damage can be done under the cover of trying to make things better. You will reap what you sow, so be careful to not devalue others with your “helping”. (Rom. 14:10-12)
If we are considering the plank, our shortcomings ought to appear greater to us than the same sins that appear in others. But many people are seemingly oblivious to their own sins, while they are extremely blunt when pointing out the sins of others. They point to the sins of others while they themselves are prideful and uncharitable. They claim to be doing the correcting out of love. But how can a person reform another without actually being reformed himself?
Some people, no matter what is said in an attempt to help, just will not listen to reason. The thing about God is He does not have to prove anything.
Many people go through life focusing their attentions on the accomplishment of a thing only to realize that they’re farther from their destination than they thought. Maybe this describes you. If so, consider your ways. Perhaps you have a plank that needs removing, one that is preventing you from moving progressively toward your God-ordained purpose.
Here is how to remove the plank:
- Evaluate yourself. This involves an appraisal. Consider the methods of antique appraisers, or the methods of home appraisers. I remember when my wife and I were buying our first home and had to go through the process of getting the home appraised. We followed the appraiser around every nook and cranny of the house and discovered things we never would have seen otherwise. The process of a self-appraisal should be just as meticulous, with the standard being God’s Word (reference 2 Timothy 3:16-17). When you take a close look, you will likely find something undesirable. Ask God for the wisdom to do what is necessary in response to what you find.
- Submit to the plans of God. This involves a decision to surrender to and obey God (James 4:7). Through a walk of faith, a person comes to know more about God’s plans by seeing God’s works, hearing God’s voice, doing God’s will, and being God’s servant. Surrendering to the will of God adds value to your life.
- Be kind to others. If you can prophesy to a grain of wheat, and turn it into a piece of bread, but you’re meaner than a rattlesnake, what good are those gifts when not exercised with love? (1 Cor. 13)
Do not only seek answers, but also seek the revelation. What will you consider?
Author, speaker, musician DEREK E. EURALES, Jr., loves to share his faith, motivation, and music. His book, Principles of Christian Living, has become a “must read” for believers of all ages. To order your copy, click here.