The Charmin Process, Or Don't Use A Jackhammer When A Tissue Will Do
If you read carefully the accounts of Jesus' life in the Gospels, you will find that
the sins He preaches against the most are three that we don't think are all that bad:
unbelief, unforgiveness and hypocrisy.
In Luke 6:41-42 Jesus gives a picture of hypocrisy: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
Ah, the famous "plank" scripture! Who said Jesus didn't have a sense of humor? This is usually taught to mean that we are NEVER to judge or discern the bad in anyone. But notice what it says "THEN you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye". Not that we are not to discern when our brother has a difficulty and help him remove it - but to get rid of the 2 by 4 in our own eye first!
So notice that Jesus begins by telling us NOT to judge unfairly - to have a condemning or critical spirit, specifically about character flaws that WE still have! First get rid of the flaw with God's help in our own life, THEN we can help our brother and sister who is having a problem with the same thing. I think Jesus' main point in these verses is against hypocrisy - thinking you have the right to correct your brother when you have worse problems than he does.
I used to be employed in an office of a welding business, and we had two employees who were buddies, one white, one black. Well, they were both good workers, when you could keep them away from beer, but they had a habit of laying out of work to drink, on alternate days. On one day the white guy would come in and tell us how bad off the black guy was and how much he'd like to help him get over his drunkeness. And then the next day the black guy would come in and say exactly the same thing about the white guy. I tried to tell them both that they had to overcome THEIR drunkenness before they could help someone else, but they never heard me. I guess they must have had "planks" in their ears too!
"Planks" refers to some sin or character flaw that you are overlooking when you criticize someone else for doing the same thing! You can usually tell what your "plank" is because it is usually something that REALLY irritates you when you see that same problem (specks of sawdust) in someone else!
Notice that planks of wood and specks of sawdust are made of the SAME material, just a different quantity of it. So this verse is speaking of some fault that you are VERY guilty of, that you criticize in someone else that you think who has just a TINY bit of it. When you get REALLY offended by something somebody else does, especially if it's not "that big a deal" for anyone else, that should be "red flag" that something just MIGHT be wrong in your own life.
Have you ever over-reacted to a comment or an action by someone else? I mean, your reaction was all out of proportion to what happened or was said? Well, that could be a "key" also to a blind area in your life.
How do you remove those problem areas, character flaws, blind spots or sins in your own life? First I think we need to ask God to reveal them to us. If they were obvious, we wouldn't have such problems with them. Then as they are revealed, we need to seek God's wisdom in removing them. And it may take diligence to get rid of them, especially if they are character flaws or habitual activities.
Father God open our eyes to the "planks" that are blinding us, and give us grace to overcome them in Jesus Name AMEN
If you are trying to get a speck out of someone's eye, what tool would you usually use? A jackhammer? A pipe wrench? A chain saw? NO! You usually take a very soft tissue and cautiously touch the piece of dirt or whatever it is. Or you may have to use an eyewash of some kind and gently flush it out. The point is, taking a speck out of someone's eye is a delicate procedure. You want to remove the speck, but not damage the sight.
I think sometimes in our eagerness to "help", we overdo it and actually hurt the other person. It all goes back to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Be loving, gentle and accepting as you help them with their "speck".
So it is not that we are NEVER to assist someone in taking care of their character flaws, just do it gently and with love, after taking care of our own problems FIRST.
So remember, when you have overcome your own faults, and you are led to remove a speck from your brother's eye, use "The Charmin Process". Don't use a jackhammer when a tissue will do
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