Matthew 7:1-6

First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly. Matthew 7:5

It used to be that I couldn’t tolerate a Bible know-it-all—the kind of person who knows more about the Bible than most people, and who is quick to show it off by correcting others. In my heart I was quick to condemn such a person—and I didn’t always keep it to myself.

To my chagrin, I discovered that I was doing the very thing I despised in others. The more I learned about the Bible, the prouder I felt. Then on one occasion after making an insensitive, arrogant remark, I saw the hurt in my friend’s eyes. God’s Spirit used that incident to convict me of my pride. I confessed my sin and asked God’s help to overcome it.

Another important thing happened. I found myself having much more understanding and compassion toward others like me. I realized that they are driven by the same insecurity and pride that I was.

There’s a key principle in today’s Scripture: Instead of being quick to point out the sins of others, we need to judge our own sins—the “planks” in our own lives. It’s a painful process. It hurts. But it will make us much more patient and sensitive toward other sinners like us.

Lord, help me to judge myself before I judge others. Make me as compassionate to them as You are to me. 

The Lord is Judge of all the earth—His judgment’s always right; before we judge our neighbor’s sin, we must walk in God’s light. —hess

Be slow to judge others but quick to judge yourself.

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