Why There’s Not a Beam in Your Eye, and Why There Is!
For years I have heard preachers talk about Jesus’ statement in Matthew 7:3-4 about the speck and beam in different folks’ eyes. Usually the beam is described as a long plank of wood (like a 2×4) sticking out of a person’s eye socket, and the preacher remarks as to what a humorous picture Jesus is presenting here. For years, this is exactly how I have thought about it, and how I preached it, but I am not so sure that this is what Jesus had in mind anymore. Perhaps a different image is in order.
What Jesus is seeking to communicate with us in this passage is not to judge hypocritically, that is to condemn someone with a speck-sized spiritual problem while we have a plank-sized spiritual problem. We’ve got to get rid of our plank-sized spiritual problem first before we can see the speck-sized spiritual problems clearly (Matthew 7:5). Now, have you ever thought how those planked-sized spiritual problems were acquired in the first place?
We don’t come into this world with plank-sized spiritual problems; we pick them up along the way, and it is always with our consent. We put the beam in our own eye by picking it up and carrying it with us. That beam is sin itself. The picture that we have traditionally preached needs to be changed. It isn’t a picture of someone with a 2×4 sticking out of their eye. It’s a picture of someone carrying a railroad tie in their arms. Have you ever tried to do that? You can’t see a thing in front of you, and you certainly can’t see a speck in someone else’s eye. What’s the solution? Put that thing down–get sin out of your life–and then you can help others. God bless you, and I love you.