Jesus says, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite. First, take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”
This is pretty clear what we see in Jesus’ teaching here and really all over Scripture. It is far easier to see sin in others than it is to see sin in ourselves. It’s much more natural to us to observe sin in others and not observe sin in ourself. And so, Jesus is saying very clearly here, whenever you notice sin and others, stop. Immediately stop and ask what evidence is there of sin, even specifically that sin we see in others, in our own lives? Seeing sin around us should immediately cause us to examine sin in us, to ask how do I need to be more holy, more like Jesus? What do I need to confess?
It is far easier to see sin in others than in ourselves. Lord, open our eyes to sin in our own hearts. We thank You for the salvation You have provided.
And so to do this, Jesus is not saying not to help your brother or sister to help someone turn from sin. He wants us and calls us to all over the Gospels. Think about Matthew 18, all throughout the New Testament. We are commanded to help one another grow in holiness to become more like Jesus, to spur one another on toward Christ, to restore one another when we are caught in sin. We do this work.
This is one of the ways we love each other. If someone in my life sees sin in my life and just doesn’t say anything, just ignores it and lets me continue down a sinful path, then that person does not love me. If they love me, they will call me away from sin, but they will do it with a humble heart that has examined that sin and just the presence of sin in their own hearts in the process. And in this way, we realized that helping one another turn from sin, as long as we’re doing Luke 6:41-42 style, letting that lead us first and foremost to the examination of our own hearts, we realize that we grow in Jesus in this process and others grow in their relationship with Jesus and likeness to Jesus in this process.
So God, help us. We pray to do this well. God, open our eyes to sin in us and around us. God, we want to turn from sin and we want our brothers and sisters in Christ to turn from sin. We all want to experience the life you have for us. So, give us sensitivity to sin in us and around us. When we see sin around us, God, we pray for humility. We pray for honest self-examination. Even practically right now, as we might think through areas where we want to help those around us grow in Christ, God, show us always where we need to grow in Christ. God, use even seeing sin in others to expose sin in our own hearts and do this work of sanctification in us.
And then yes, God, please use us to do this work of sanctification in others’ lives for their good. God, we pray that you’d help us to remove logs from our eyes and to remove specks from our brothers’ and sisters’; eyes. And in this process, God, please make us all look more like Jesus. Help us. Help us to be sensitive to sin in others’ lives and in our own lives, and in the process, help us to confess it honestly, humbly, to repent of it, and to follow you and experience the life you’ve designed for us to live. We pray this in Jesus’ name.