"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? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye', when all the time there is a plank in your own eye. You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Matthew 7:3-5 NIV
Today on my way into church, I noticed a coffee cup rolling around on the interstate. Ever since the 4th grade I've dispised the act of littering. If I throw a bubble gum wrapper on the ground I feel guilt ridden the rest of the day. So, when I ride past this coffee cup, I curse the culprit under my breath. I even say to myself, "they probably were on their way to church, breaking the law like that."
Then something amazing happened. I looked down at my speedometer and realized I had been driving at least 20 miles over the speed limit since I got in the car. I started to laugh at myself because here I was breaking a law and condemning someone else for breaking another. The Holy Spirit came and corrected my thoughts.
See, we humans esteem one law more important than another. This man/woman I was criticizing probably drove the speed limit and followed every other traffic law, yet did not truly appreciate the damage littering does to our planet over time. They may be unaware how this careless act done repeatedly could effect their childrens inheritance. But regardless, we both were wrong and therefore unsuitable to judge each other.
But it's not easy or natural for us to come to this diplomatic conclusion on our own. It's very second nature actually to become so focused in figuring out what's wrong with what everyone else is doing, or what type of people other people are. But when you find yourself doing this, quickly ask yourself the question, "but what am I doing?" and "who am I?"
I laughed at myself all the way to church. I'm sure God laughed with me. I cast out my judgment and turned the mirror on myself. I am a "speed demon" by all accounts and break the law regularly. I'm often distracted by the radio or a hair that's out of place. I'm an impatient driver and I'm irritated by anyone who gets in my way. Heaven help all those that surround me. My prayer is that God work on these flaws and help me mature spiritually and as a law-abiding citizen. Now, will I change over night? Probably not, but I have seen the light and know I need correction. I know who I am, good and the bad.
Now, who are you?