"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye." - Luke 6:41-42
Jesus is instructing his disciples (v. 20) with a great multitude looking on (v. 17). He wants them to see life in a different way. He wants his disciples to be like him (v. 40). But his disciples have a lot to work on. One thing they have to learn is to pay more attention to their own sins than to the sins of others.
These verses cut to my heart this morning. As an elder and a Bible teacher, it is easy for me to identify the sins of others. What is not so easy for me is to identify my own sins.
Last year, my 12-year old daughter composed a letter, slipped it into an envelope, and slid it through the crack under my office door. It was a note informing me that my anger was making everyone feel on edge, including my wife Averil. It offered practical ways we could all work together to minimise conditions under which I would get angry. This letter cut to my heart. My anger had gotten out of control, and was negatively impacting the entire household. I wasn't aware how harmful my anger was. It had gotten out of control and become a log in my own eye.
In Jesus' illustration, it is a speck in the brother's eye but a log in the hypocrite's eye. So the question is: Are there any logs in my eye, any big sins, that I am refusing to acknowledge and deal with?
Father, open my eyes to the logs that are in my own eye, the logs that are so obvious to others but are somehow not obvious to me. When I learn of these logs, may I act promptly by the Spirit to take these logs out of my own eye. Help me to ask the question of my wife, my children, and my co-elders: "Do you see any logs in my eye, logs that I don't see?" In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman