Splinters, Support Beams, & Swine - Part 1 of 2

Mat 7:1-6  Judge not, that ye be not judged.  (2)  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  (3)  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  (4)  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  (5)  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.  (6)  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

There is much confusion about what is meant by the statement that is begun in 7:1. Anytime anyone tries to point out a sin in some Christian’s life, they usually will quote 7:1. Coincidentally, that is usually the only Bible verse they know, too! The word/phrase hear speaks of “condemnation.” We are not to be the ones to condemn anyone – God is the only holy one who has that ability and authority. But we are to judge righteously, as we will see from a further study today. There are three truths that the Lord is teaching us about our daily walk with Him from this Scripture that we will take a look at the first one in this post.

When Jesus says, “beam,” it is what we think of - a large support beam. A mote is what we consider a splinter, twig, or piece of straw.

The Lord also uses the word, “Considerest.” In doing so, He is essentially telling them that they are spending too much time thinking about everyone else’s issues and not their own problems. Dr. H. Leo Eddleman once said, “Most men are sin-blind when it comes to themselves or their loved ones.” (“Teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5-7,” pg. 126) It was Roland Q Leavell who made the following statement:
When Jesus taught that men should not judge others with critical harshness, he did not forbid having an honest opinion about the character and conduct of another. He was condemning unkind criticism and constant faultfinding. Such an attitude will be repaid measure for measure. It is the law of the harvest; sow criticism and reap criticism (“Studies in Matthew” pg 48)
The picture that Jesus paints here reveals that when we are critical about issues that we ourselves have problems with, others can see the hypocrisy of our “advice.” There are three ways that hypocrisy hurts.

First, you Reap What You Sow7:1-2. The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:26, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” There is an old saying that rings true -  Sow in the wind, reap the whirlwind. This timeless truth has its roots in the Word of God - Hosea 8:7, “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.”

This same thought is seen throughout the Proverbs - Proverbs 1:27, 10:25, 11:29, 16:2. The Lord will weigh it out when you sow in the wind. Why is it everyone around you seems angry…mean spirited…unhelpful…unfriendly…unforgiving…etc.? Because you reap what you sow. The Law of Sowing and Reaping is that you always reap more than you sow. So when you are always hurting others with your hypocrisy, don’t be shocked when you reap a bunch of it yourself.

Secondly, Reflect on What You See7:3-4. Jesus is the master teacher and preacher and uses an unusual word picture to get His point across. In using these two contrasting pieces of wood, he is showing how hypocritical it is for a person with major issues in their life to try to help someone else out in their lesser problems.

I believe the application can be made here that we should not go to people for advice for something that they themselves have a problem with. Notice that both pieces in the eye were wood, so I believe that Jesus is showing that they both had the same problem, but one was greater than the other. Reminds me of something I read recently.
Donna Simpson (born 1967) is an Old Bridge, New Jersey woman who has expressed a desire to become one of the world's heaviest women. Specifically, she wishes to attain a target weight of 1,000 pounds (450 kg). As of June 2010, Simpson weighs 602 pounds *( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Simpson_(internet_personality) )
I’M NOT GOING TO HER FOR WEIGHT LOSS ADVICE! But yet, that is what many do today. They are having financial problems, so they get advice from someone who can’t balance a check book. They are having marriage problems, so they get advice from someone who has been divorced and they think that is always the best solution. They are having work problems, so they get advice from someone who can’t keep a job to save their life. And worst yet, we often try to advise people in areas we have no idea about. It would be like someone asking me how to overhaul a car engine. Both sides are in the wrong and neither come out to a good conclusion.

Thirdly, you always will Regret What You Say7:5a. A lot of Christians would do a lot better in life if they did not go around and try to tell everyone else how great of a Christian they are. Our actions often go contrary to what we say – and we end up regretting it in the end. Let’s not hurt others with our hypocrisy.

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