Am I a Beam Eye?
Matthew 7:3-5, NCV (Luke 6:41-42)
"V3. Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend's eye, but you don't notice the big piece of wood in your own eye? 4. How can you say to your friend, 'Let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye'? Look at yourself! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. 5. You hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend's eye.”
Jesus continues his condemnation of condemnation here, but only as a self checking step rather than as a prohibition to confrontation. He says, “Make sure you are okay before you condemn another. Get yourself in shape before you confront.”
There verses prompt us to formulate a check list to use prior to confronting anyone.
First, we should examine our attitudes, and intentions. Also, it is wisdom to think how to best handle any possible negative response from the one we want to help or the one who has wronged us.
check our own attitudes for spiritual pride and condescension where, thinking
our position to be superior, we point out how the other person has wronged us.
It is certain that a violation of the Golden Rule of treating others as we wish to be treated will happen if we have a wrong and superior attitude.
2. Romans 2:1-4 is a parallel passage that warns against a condemning attitude when the critic is in fact doing the same kinds of things. If we tell a person not to gossip, when we gossip ourselves, this is not good. The apostle makes it clear in Romans 2 that this conduct will bring God’s judgment. It is all in having the right attitude of reconciliation.
3. The offending person will either listen to you or not. If he does not listen, then the scripture tells us to take two or three witnesses to hear the offender’s defense.
4. Have a truly sincere objective of helping the other person rather than condemning them. Even then, pure motives may not be recognized by the other person.
5. The person who has the mote/speck/dust may not be ready to receive correction, especially from another member. The Holy Spirit should be the leader here in pointing out faults, and He does that a lot. If God leads us, He will also give us the grace and the right words to say. Surely, all the prophets had words of correction that were directed by the Lord. They were almost always rejected by the sinner, and in some cases, murdered for their good intentions.
6. Do we have the ministerial authority to rebuke and correct? Better to leave correction to those who do.
7. When we have the right motivation, then seek to point out the fault. Critical people, almost never, see that they are critical and that they will be rejected by the one they want to help. We assume that being a help should be the operative motivation, but some are just critical without really wanting to be a constructive help. No one will receive correction from anyone with a superior attitude, but will, or should, hear someone who wants to save him from a sin or fault that hinders the person in life.
8. If anyone is going to confront another they must be ready and willing to also be merciful by lending a helping hand.
9. This type of situation is not one where there is a personal sin or offense between the two people. These verses should not be used to support some notion that we should not communicate with those who have personally sinned against us or offended us. It has then become our business and we are directed by the law of Christ to confront.
10.Jesus teaches here that if we have gone through the process of recognizing our own faults and then to overcome it that we would then have a better understanding of what the other person is going through. No one wants the very thing they desire to be free from to be thrown in their face by someone who is only trying to put them down.