Jesus was not opposed to using humor to get his point across. One of his funniest illustrations is the story of the beam and the speck. This illustration is found in Matthew 7:3-5.
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?’ Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? ‘You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.’ (Matthew 7:3–5, NASB)
The log-eye is me
We’ve all been the log-eye at one time or another. I think that Jesus gave us this story so that we can be reminded that we have the tendency to see others’ faults and ignore our own. We are reminded of this fault so that we can recognize it and take corrective action when it surfaces.
Those who seldom or never see themselves as the one with the log are a problem. They are dangerous and often used by Satan to sow confusion and disharmony wherever they go within the Church.
How do you know when you’re being a log-eye? I thought of three types of behavior that are indications that a log-eye is in operation. If one of these describes your behavior, then it is likely that you are a log-eye:
- The inspector– These are the ones that are happy to do a “fruit inspection” on you and give a detailed analysis of where you are wrong. This is sometimes done under the guise of helping you toward spiritual maturity.
- The lecturer– These are the ones that will use what ever shortcoming you might have as the pretext for a lecture. The lecture usually includes how the log-eye had your fault and overcame it.
- The manager – These are the ones who find your problem before you do and give you detailed instructions on how to fix your problem. These instructions will sometimes include memorization of verses that speak to your fault. After all, how can Scripture memorization be a bad thing?
The fix for being a log-eye is to ask forgiveness from the one whose speck we tried to remove. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:23 that if we are going to worship and remember that someone has something against us we are to stop everything and seek reconciliation.
As a preventive measure we need to follow the Apostle Paul’s advice in Philippians 2:3 where he presents humility as the means of building and preserving unity. When we are humble, we are more likely to see our log and be willing to have it dealt with before we go hunting for specks.
So before you try to remove your brother’s speck, read Philippians 2:3 and look in the mirror.