“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus asks a very fundamental question, one which I must point to myself. Why do I notice the speck in my neighbour’s eye but do not notice the log in my own eye? The answer is simple: I can’t see the log.
Until we are able to tell ourselves the ugly truth, until we get to see the log as it is, we would never move an inch to remove it. We only repent of our sinfulness when we come to admit the truth about our darkness. The day the drunkard calls himself a drunkard, he would stop drinking. But so long as he believes he is okay, the bottle will never depart from his lips.
I guess you may have heard the saying that “if you want to catch a thief, employ a thief.” Only a very good thief knows the mindset of a fellow thief. In the unconscious realm, that which you are trying to fight in someone is only a reflection of your own dark side.
Jesus is not saying we shouldn’t help others take out the speck in their eyes. Jesus is not saying we should make efforts to correct people. He is only saying: “first things first, remove your log so that you can see clearly to help someone remove his speck.” This is very instructive. If we do not see clearly, we run into the danger of passing pre-mature judgement on others.
It is easy to judge people when we are not in their shoes (when you do not understand or have never experienced their situation). So easy to condemn a footballer when you are not the one wearing the jersey and handling the ball before a crowd of 45,000 persons plus millions watching all over the world. So easy to condemn a politician for stealing public funds when you are not the one in a position with such easy access to a lot of money.
When next you feel a strong urge to correct someone, post a condemnatory video on social media, cry about an act of injustice, or even gossip about someone to a friend, please examine your conscience thoroughly. Examine your heart, correct yourself, point the torchlight inwards so you can see the log, then remove the log first before you go ahead to judge or criticize.
Maybe, while removing your log, you will discover why it has been so difficult for others to remove their specks. Maybe, the lessons you learn will help to refine how you condemn. Maybe, in the end, you will realize there is just no need to condemn anyone at all but to simply begin to do that which you desire to see in others.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, open my eyes to see my logs, to admit the truth about myself so that I can change for the better. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: 2 Kings 17:5-8,13-15,18, Ps. 60:3-5,12-13, Matthew 7:1-5)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu