The Calvary Road #12 – The Speck and the Plank
Having worked in a factory that sawed oak and cherry wood designed for expensive French furniture, I know how irritating it is to get a speck of sawdust in my eye.
Jesus asked, “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?” (Matthew 7:3).
A “speck of sawdust” is a speck or chip of anything dry – something tiny. A “plank” of wood is a weight-bearing board used in construction – something huge.
Jesus added: “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:4).
How can we engage in taking a speck of grit from someone else’s eye, when we are visually impaired with of huge chunk of wood in our own eye?
Maybe something is wrong in the other person. But how can we deal with someone else’s fault, when God sees something far worse in our own hearts?
As Francis de Sales said, “The business of finding fault is very easy, and that of doing better very difficult.”
Jesus then said, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5).
We go first to the cross and see Jesus there and get a glimpse of what our sin cost him. At his feet we repent of our sin. Being broken afresh, we trust his cleansing and are filled again with his love.
After we have dealt with our own hearts, the love of Jesus poured out in us can move us to speak the truth in love to someone else.
A godly Swiss Christian, Nicholas of Basle, crossed the mountains to Strasbourg and entered the church of Dr. Tauler, a popular preacher in that city.
Nicholas said: “Dr. Tauler, before you can do your greatest work for God, the world, and this city, you must die – die to yourself, your gifts, your popularity, and even your own goodness. And when you have learned the full meaning of the cross, you will have a new power with God and others.”
That humble challenge from an obscure Christian changed Dr. Tauler who influenced Martin Luther who led the Reformation.
Questions: Where might you see a fault in another and overlook something else in yourself? How could you speak the truth in love?
~ Pastor Dave