“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? – Matt. 7:3 NIV
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There is no doubt about the fact that man has the ability to see every other thing including other human beings better than he/she would see him/her self. This is because with eyes looking in only one direction at a time, man only has the ability to see his front or at best his side but definitely not his back. This limitation however, does not apply when man has to observe another human being or object. With the task of having to assess any other object outside self, man is able to see the object in 3-Dimension and so is able to do a better job in assessment.
However, man in expressing his view about his assessment of others, in some cases forget that he has the disadvantage of not been able to see himself completely and so is not able to realise that he may actually be worse in terms of that area of imperfection that he noticed in another person. This assessment limitations is not just about physical issues only but may even worse when the spiritual deficiency is the area of assessment, since this area requires the possession of spiritual gift to be able to do a good job of the assessment. Ideally, one will expect that man being aware of this limitation will show restraint in commenting about the deficiencies found in others but that is hardly the case as human beings tend to feel so happy discussing the deficiencies of others.
This was definitely what Jesus Christ was referencing when during the course of his famous sermon on the mount, he advised his listeners to show restraint in judging others as they will be judged with the same standard they used to judge others – Matt. 7:1-2. Going further with this advise, he wondered why anyone will be interested in the speck in the eyes of a brother when he has a log to take care of in his own eyes. Simply put, such should bother about the possibility of a bigger personal error that will require attention rather than a relatively minor error of a brother that he or she seems to be more interested in – Matt. 7:3-4. As far as Jesus Christ is concerned, that is hypocrisy and it should not be found in a Christian – Matt. 7:5.
There is no doubt that this observation of Christ about the people in his time applies today with Christians and Christian groups also involved. More Christians are today focusing on the imperfection of one another rather than focusing on how to improve their own imperfections and this act applies to Christians as individuals and as a group. Criticisms are made about one another in such a manner that gives the impression that they or their group is so perfect and there is no area of their conduct that requires improvement. Of course they will not be able to see their imperfection, not just because of the limitation of human vision but because they are further blinded by the log in their eyes which further impairs their vision – Matt. 7:5. If only Christians can spend half of the time they spend assessing others in doing a self assessment, the Christian community will definitely be a better community to relate with today.
Part of the role that Christianity is expected to play in the lives of Christians is to continually improve the Christian as Christ did not come for the spiritually healthy but the spiritually sick – Lk. 5:32. It will be impossible to find a Christian group or any human group for that matter that will not have an individual with a conduct that falls short of Christian standards but then that is why Christ came. It will be complete hypocrisy if the individual or the members of a group claim ignorance of such characters in their midst and should be more concerned with drawing up an effective program that will help improve such members in terms of their Christian conduct, but even with such effective plan in place, there will be individuals at different stages of moral development as new members are been won over to Christ.
Everyone has a fault that require perfecting by the Almighty God and His Christ and it is better for each one to concentrate on how to improve self rather than spending valuable time highlighting the flaws of a fellow brother or a Christian group. No one is perfect as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God – Rom. 3:23. Spend time addressing your area of imperfection as that remains the only way that the church of God can move towards perfection.
If however you or your group are in the rare state of perfection, then spend time ensuring that you retain your so called perfect state as the Apostle Paul advised that all those who are standing should take heed lest he/she falls (1Cor. 10:12) but the scriptures remind us all that all claims to righteousness by man is like filthy rags (Is. 64:6) just as the scriptures inform that the Lord looked down unto the earth in search of a man who is perfect and could find none – Rom. 3:10-12. That you are claiming perfection is in itself an act of imperfection and there will be the need for you to show caution – 1Jn. 1:8.
Spend more time improving yourself and you will have less time seeing the imperfections of others. May God help us to perfect our Christian life in Jesus name. Amen.