“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?”— Matthew 7:3
A young couple moved into a new neighborhood where they didn’t know anyone. The next morning while they were eating breakfast, the wife saw her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
Disgusted with what she saw, the woman said to her husband, “That laundry is not very clean. I can’t believe our neighbors don’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps they need better soap.”
Her husband didn’t say a word and just chewed his cereal thoughtfully. The following morning the same thing happened. And then every day for a month the young woman complained at breakfast about the horrible condition of her neighbor’s laundry.
Finally, one morning the woman walked in to see beautiful clean wash hung on her neighbor’s line. “Look!” she said in surprise. “Our neighbor learned how to wash right. I wonder what happened.”
The husband swallowed his oatmeal and said simply, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”
It’s so easy to judge the sins of others without seeing the dirt in our own hearts. But the truth is that you can’t really help someone else experience freedom and healing from their sin until you’ve received God’s grace for your own.
The good news is that His grace is available for you today – able to clean you up and give you clear eyes to see others through His love.
Ask God to reveal any ‘planks’ in your own life that you need to confess. And pray for His help to show that same grace to others.
Questions for thought
Why do we tend to hold others accountable for sins we ignore in ourselves?
Does showing grace to others mean ignoring sin? What’s the difference?