A Log in Your Eye

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?"

Matthew 7:3

Jesus often used hyperbole to communicate with his audience. Hyperbole involves intentional exaggeration to make a point and to get the audience's attention. Jesus could have said something like, "Why worry about your friend's peccadillo when you have major sin in your own life?" The point would be similar to his meaning in Matthew 7:3, but far less striking. The image of a log in the eye is humorous and memorable. Plus, it makes Jesus' point incisively.

I have a good answer to Jesus' hyperbolic question. I'd rather obsess about the speck in my friend's eye because it allows me to ignore my own log. How much easier it is to deal with someone else's sin than to confront my own. But Jesus' priorities for me are clear. I need to recognize my own sin first and foremost. Honest examination leads to open confession, which leads to the experience of forgiveness and greater freedom from sin. Focusing on my friend's speck isn't just impolite. It keeps me from enjoying that new life I have in Christ.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How are you doing in the "log and speck" business? Do you focus on the mistakes of your colleagues while ignoring your own failures? Do you criticize your spouse for petty things, but overlook your own critical spirit? What are the "logs" that God wants to remove from your eye?

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank you for this passage that hits the target of my life. You know how easily I focus on the specks in the eyes of others rather than the log, or even the logs, in my own eye. Forgive me for so blatantly ignoring your teaching in this verse.

Help me, dear Lord, to deal honestly with the sin in my life. Free me from my rationalizations, and from the hardness of heart that comes with persistent sin. By your Spirit, may I bring my logs before you, so that I might be forgiven, and so that I might experience new freedom not to sin. Amen.