A Bad Case of Plank Eye

Daniel Castor 01/02/18

We are all professionals at spotting sin. The truth is that most of us can see brokenness in someone else's life from a mile away. We have all trained ourselves to spot even the smallest of faults in others and have become quite skilled in the art of pointing out shortcomings.


But how often do we turn our gaze inward and look for sin in ourselves? How often do we bust out our magnifying glasses and look at our own ugly hearts?


In Luke 6:41-42, Jesus tells us a short parable about two men who both have something stuck in their eye. 


41 “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? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? 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.


In this story, Jesus illustrates the foolishness of trying to take care of someone else’s brokenness while refusing to acknowledge your own. The visual illustration Jesus uses is quite hysterical really; a foolish man with a two-by-four sticking out of his head is worried about the guy with a speck of dust in his eye. The whole thing is pretty funny…. that is, until you realize that you are the guy with the two-by-four sticking out of his head. 


Nobody wants to be that guy, but the truth is we have all played the role of a foolish hypocrite. We all worry about the sins of others while refusing to address our own. We all have a bad case of plank-eye!


If only we examined the sin in our own hearts and lives as closely as we did the sin in others... If only we grew concerned every time we saw the slightest spec of sin in our own lives... If only we had the same intense desire to remove every bit of sin form our own lives... Maybe then the world would not see us as hypocrites! Maybe then we would be able to help out others caught in sin. 


Helping others out of sin is no small task. It is an extremely delicate thing. It requires the greatest degree of precision and care. That’s why Jesus compares it to eye surgery in his parable.


No one would want to have their eyes operated on by a blind surgeon. We would all feel a little more comfortable if our doctor could see clearly and knew exactly what he was doing.


When we are going to deal with someone’s heart we must be just as careful! When you deal with brokenness in someone’s life, you must do all that you can to make sure that there is nothing obstructing your own view. In other words, your heart must be in good condition before you start dealing with someone else’s heart. You must deal with your sin before you deal with others. 


This does not mean that you get a pass if you are living in sin. It doesn't mean that you leave the plank in your eye, and the spec in your brothers. It means that we do the hard work of taking care of both! Deal with your sin, then, by all means, go help your brother.


Is there any pride in you, any anger or bitterness? Well then, go deal with your heart at once! Is there any amount of selfish intent in your heart, any harsh words or ugliness? Then drop to your knees and do the hard work of dealing with your own brokenness. “Then you will see clearly” and will be able to go help your brother in love.


After reading this article answer the following questions. 


•Are there any sins in my life that I have been ignoring or avoiding? 


•Have I had a judgmental of hypocritical attitude towards anyone this last week? 


•How much time do I spend thinking about the sins of others?


•How much time do I spend thinking about my own sins?


•How should I respond to Jesus’ words today? What should change in me?