Beams and Motes

Matthew 7:3-5
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.

Sin is not just an “other people” problem.  It is a universal thing that we all struggle with.  And we all have things in our lives that should not be there.  We have faults and bad habits.  But sometimes we are blind to those.  We can’t ignore our own sins and only focus on other people’s as if we had none of our own.  Who are we to condemn and criticize when we have sin in our hearts, too, when we are all damaged and broken in some way?

We need to turn our critical eye upon ourselves before we turn it on others.  We can’t be so quick to point out what is wrong in other people’s lives when we have faults of our own that are more prominent and damaging.  But we need to be willing to be honest and look closely and deal with what needs to be dealt with.  And once we do that, we can help someone who is struggling with a similar thing, because we’ll be able to relate to what they’re going through.

Doesn’t it create a compassion in us to know what it is to be afflicted by sin?  To hurt?  To be wounded?  To be blind at times to the truth of our own condition?  The curse that came as a result of sin affected every part of the world and every person who comes into it.  The damage that sin can do at times can be devastating.  And we can either contribute to that by causing further pain for others, or we can seek to help when we are able to.

But we can only help when we can see clearly to do so.  And what we see, really, is that life can be painful.  There are many things that hurt us and afflict us.  There are things that are wrong and that don’t belong.  But if we’re only looking to point out the faults of others, we’re not really helping anyone. Once we are aware of that condition, we’re not supposed to stay in it, but may we get rid of our beam and help our brother with his mote, and then we’ll both be better off.

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