First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.” Paul was talking about how to deal with the sin that is destroying another Christian’s life. The Greek word translated as “restore” referred to the setting of a broken bone. That is a delicate operation, requiring patience, precision, and gentleness. We need to deal with sinning Christians in the same way.
I think that is also what Jesus had in mind in Matthew 7. He was talking about being gentle with those who are caught up in sin. Look at verses 3-4: “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your own eye,’ and behold, the log is in your eye?”
Have you ever had something in your eye that caused discomfort? A tiny particle can drive you crazy. If somebody offered to help you get that speck out of your eye, that would be a gracious thing to do. But if that person had a two-by-four sticking out of their own eye, would you want them near your eye? Not on your life. You would say, “You have a bigger problem to deal with first. Take that two-by-four out of your eye, and then I will let you help me.” That is what Jesus was saying here. Look at verse 5: “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Jesus was not saying you have to be perfect before you can help somebody deal with sin their life. But you should deal with your own sin as best you can before you try to help somebody else. For example, if you are involved in an adulterous affair, you are not going to be able to see clearly to help somebody else deal with sexual immorality in their life. If you are regularly exploding in rage at your spouse and children, you are not going to be able to help somebody else with their outbursts of anger. Take the log out of your own eye before you try to help somebody else.
It is a very gracious thing to turn a sinning Christian back into a right relationship with God. James said it this way in James 5:19-20: “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” We want to condemn sinning Christians, but we need to restore sinning Christians.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Straight Talk About Your Needs” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2022.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org