In Luke chapter seven, verses 41 and 42, Jesus tells us, “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye’, when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friends eye.”
This is quite an admonishment to us to focus on our own flaws instead of pointing out the flaws of other people. I know for myself it is sometimes easy to catalog the ways that other people seemingly need to change yet at the same time I can easily rationalize and/or minimize my own behavior, without remembering that other people are not giving me the same leeway.
There is something very seductive to human beings about focusing on the failings of other people. I thing part of the appeal lies in the fact that it is just a distraction from our own flaws. When I am focused on the shortcomings of others I am not wrestling with my own issues, and the disappointment that I feel about how I fail so much of the time to live up to the image of God and Christ that I want to reflect.
Jesus tells us very clearly in the Gospels about how to treat other people. First and foremost he commands us to love others as ourselves. He also tells us not to judge other people if we don’t want to be judged ourselves. And he tells us to forgive other people, the way that he and God have forgiven us.
Lastly, he makes no bones about the fact that we aren’t to criticize others unless we are perfect ourselves. This is clearly evident in his very stern warning in the verses above. He warns us about this criticism not just because it is hypocritical behavior but because it creates negative feelings even if the person we are referring to is not present, and it can create a destructive situation if our words travel back to the person in question if we are not talking to them, but about them. Most importantly, gossip and criticism is behavior that is not reflective of the perfect love of Jesus Christ.
Jesus understands the life history of every human being, and knows what causes us to act in ways that sometimes cause pain to others. He wants us to trust in the love for all of us that he feels, a love that is unconditional despite the flaws that we all have. When we trust in him enough to accept the Salvation he gives us through repentance and forgiveness of sin, we accept his lordship over our lives, and begin to see our flaws more clearly. When we begin working on ourselves with the guidance of Jesus Christ, we realize that we have so much improvement to make in our own behavior that we can’t possibly be justified in criticizing anyone else for their perceived flaws.
link to my free ebook, “Jesus is the Sun”
link to the ebook on blogger: https://messagesftsg.blogspot.com/