One of the truths we examined in Week Three (access Week 3 worksheet here) was from the passage in Matthew 7:1-5. Matthew, an ostracized Jew of a despicable profession, camps on Jesus’ words about judging others and the incompetence of one with a plank to remove a speck from another. We discussed that when our focus is not on personal holiness but on others’ ungodliness, we fail to use the right guide to measure holiness. The only proper measuring stick for godliness is God.
Here is a great summation by Bible Commentator, W.F. Adeney, on the ineffectiveness of judging others: “The censorious person is the last to perceive his own sin. It may be huge as a beam, yet he is quite unable to see it while he is busy in hunting for the speck of dust in his brother’s eye. There is nothing which so hinders a person from heart-searching self-examination, nothing which so hardens him in self-complacent pride, as the habit of finding fault with other people.”
For me to truly wrestle with this truth is a heart-searching self-examination of my own heart for the areas where I concern myself with the speck in someone’s eye. Because when I am concerned about another’s speck, my focus is no longer on personal holiness but on pride.
Let us press on in our quest to follow Jesus and daily commit to deny one’s self (Greek definition: forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests) as challenged by Jesus in Mark 8:34.