The Things We Magnify! (Matthew 7:3)
Matthew 7:3, And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
It is very easy to see the minor faults in those around us, while being oblivious to major faults in our own life. Jesus illustrates this truth by a mote, which literally refers to the following: a piece of straw, thin piece of wood, a splinter, or a small piece of sawdust, or a speck of debris. He contrasts that to the following: a beam which refers to a huge piece of wood, like a log, a plank, or rafter in a house.
He draws attention to the irony by exaggerations. The greater context is avoiding a critical attitude. A person who judges will condemn others for their outward (visible problems) but fails to realize that their attitude comes from problems within their own heart, which they have not yet conquered in their own life. The problem is that they are not dealing with the plank in their own pupil. A peacemaker is one who magnifies his own faults and minimizes his offender’s faults.
The very nature of self-righteousness is to justify self and to judge and condemn others. It’s the self-righteous who claim to be both lawgiver and judge, claiming authority that belongs only to the Lord. The self-righteous play God when they do this because they judge themselves on the basis of their own standards and wisdom.
The self-righteous and those with a judgmental spirit struggle in their walk with God, because they are unwilling to acknowledge their sin and get right with God. Self-righteous people are the most miserable because they are unwilling to pull the plank out of their own pupil.
Our flesh finds it so easy to turn a microscope on another person’s sin while we look at ours through the wrong end of a telescope! People have a tendency sometimes to worry about what everyone else is doing without considering what they are doing themselves. Some will complain, “THEY are doing THIS” or “NOT doing THAT!” Jesus says, “Why are you behaving this way? What are YOU doing? Pull the plank out of your own pupil.” The problem is that the faults which we consider enormous in the lives of others, compared to our own sins, are as a little splinter is when compared to large beam. We are so much quicker to judge small offences in others, than to condemn large offences in ourselves.
Prayer: Father, help me to be mindful that it is not my place to judge others. Help me to see people the way You see them, and to be filled with compassion, even as someone is doing wrong to me. Help me to respond with love instead of anger and bitterness. I repent of the pride in my life that is evident every time I have a critical, judgmental thought. You have commanded me to walk in forgiveness and love, to rise above offenses, and to walk humbly with You. I choose that road today. I submit all my thoughts to You for approval, choosing loving thoughts and not condemning thoughts, compassionate thoughts not critical thoughts. And kindly remove the log in my eye. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.