“And why beholdest thou the mote (speck) that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam (log) that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote (speck) out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam (log) is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam (log) out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote (speck) out of thy brother’s eye.”Matthew 7:3-5
We all have struggled from time to time to see ourselves for what we are. We tend to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt, and we like to cast ourselves in the best light. It is much easier to look down on others than it is to turn the spotlight on ourselves. It is like putting on weight and not noticing until someone shows you a picture of yourself, and you wonder what happened to the person you seemed to have eaten. I remember as a teenager finding fault in everyone else around me, but I thought I was a pretty standup guy. I failed to notice or see my true self, and I made life miserable for some who were closest to me. We are warned in this passage to not worry so much about the speck in someone else’s eye, but rather worry about the telephone pole emitting from our own eye.
Our family used to love to frequent a Mexican restaurant that we still go to from time to time. We lived fairly close to the restaurant, and we saw it grow from the corner of 35th Avenue and McDowell to to their much larger location at 35th and Encanto. We would go there on an occasional Sunday and it was always a treat for us to eat there. We would sometimes go with other people, and my grandma loved the food there as well. I remember fondly a time we went to the restaurant and my grandma ordered a red chile burrito, which she loved. We thought nothing of this until the food came and my grandma noticed something was not right.
The serve brought out her burrito, and she dug into it and realized it was not a red chile burrito but it was a green chile burrito. I believe she had taken a bite out of it before she told the server and they brought her out another burrito, correcting the mistake. My grandma cut into this burrito and it was incorrect again, and she once again asked for this to be fixed. We never had such an issue at this restaurant, but we thought maybe they were just having a bad night. My grandma received her burrito this last time and it was still not right, but she decided to live with it and just eat the burrito as is. We finished our food and enjoyed the night, even though my grandma had some issues with her food. The restaurant is not really well lit inside due to the ambience, but as we left, the light outside led to a discovery that turned out to be quite a comedic event.
My grandma got outside and noticed she had spilled some food on her shirt, and she was taken aback as the stain on her shirt was that of a red chili burrito. She told my dad and was embarrassed by her error, which turned out to be quite funny. She had been given a red chile burrito all along but she failed to see it and was convinced she was being given the wrong item. We all got a good laugh out of it, and I never imagined God would bring this story back to me decades later to use as an illustration. We often are mistaken in how we view our own sin, and we see something amiss in others while failing to see the sin in our own lives. We fail to see the “stain on our shirt”, but we are quick to point out what we think are the faults of others. The light always reveals the truth of the matter, and we need to ask God to reveal the dark corners of our heart and the stains that lie there.
Are you missing the obvious sins in your life but quick to point out the faults of others? Do you stay out of the light so you can point the finger at others? I know there is no one in this life that gives me more problems than me, and I know my sins are plenty. May we ask God to examine us, and may we check our own heart before we check the heart of others.