One of my favorite comedy groups when I was growing up was Isaac Air Freight. (Does anyone still remember them?) They did a lot of Christian comedy sketches, and one that’s always stuck with me was one called “Final Minutes” which was loosely based on “60 Minutes.”
In it, they interviewed a couple called “The Loggers.” They were Christians, who had a very “unique” characteristic. They literally had logs sticking out of their eyes. Because of that, they were constantly knocking things down with them. And all the while, they’d criticize other people.
When the interviewer asked them about the logs in their eyes, they both asked innocently, “What logs?”
“Well,” the interviewer said, “There are these huge logs in your eyes. You’re constantly knocking things down with them.”
“Hmmm…they never seemed to bother us before.”
And that’s exactly how a lot of Christians are today. They are constantly criticizing others, while failing to see their own faults.
Jesus tells us, “You think you’re the one to help the blind by judging and criticizing them. But you can’t even see the problems in your own life. Their problems are but a speck compared to the logs in your own life. You’re blind, and you don’t even know it. And if you who are blind try to lead others who are blind, you’ll both fall into the pit.
“You think you’re a teacher for the ignorant. But your students will become like you, taking in all the faults that you don’t even know you have.” (Luke 6:39-40)
He caps it by saying,
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Luke 6:42)
What is Jesus’ point? I think the main point is humility.
One of the biggest planks in people’s eyes is pride.
There are times when we need to confront our brothers and sisters about their sin. Jesus commands us to do that (Matthew 18:15). The apostles reiterate it in the epistles. (Galatians 6:1)
But with what attitude do we do it? With pride? With an attitude of, “I am better than you.”
Or with a humble and gentle spirit that realizes that you need God’s grace and mercy as much as they do.
So before you rebuke someone, ask God, “What sins are in my life? What logs are in my eyes? I can’t help others if I myself am blind. Am I suffering from pride? Am I suffering from unforgiveness? Am I suffering from the very vices the person I’m criticizing is suffering from?”
And as God reveals these things to you, repent.
If you cannot come to a person in full humility at your own weaknesses and need for God’s mercy, you should probably put off confronting them until you can.
Because even if they learn from you to avoid the sin you criticize them for, they’ll also learn pride, hypocrisy, and every other sin you’re carrying with you. As Jesus said,
A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40)
What logs are in your eyes?