By Luther Bolenbarker
This “holier than thou” attitude is one that we all have to guard against from time to time. We all have a tendency (sometimes just to ourselves) to “blow our own horn” while at the same time we “put down” or belittle someone else. I guess that this may seem normal (which doesn’t make it right) because none of us likes to admit someone else may be superior to us in certain areas of endeavor. This should be incentive to make us be better and to strive even harder. But, if seeing someone else achieve more or be better than we are in certain endeavors causes us to be jealous or envious, then we need to take a closer look at ourselves. Jesus called this jealousy and envious attitude which thrives on finding fault in others “mote hunting.”
There are many ways of saying that one should get the beam out of his own eye, but Jesus said it best in Matthew 7:1-5, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured unto you. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me cast out the mote out of thine eye; and lo, the beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
These verses tell us that we often can see a very small fault in others, yet at the same time we tend to overlook a much greater fault in ourselves. It also affirms that before we have a right to talk of other’s faults, we should get rid of our own. In other words: “if we live in a glass house, let us not throw rocks.” Occasionally, our biggest problem is not others; it is me! We cannot determine the attitudes and actions of others, as we know not their hearts, but we can certainly control and be responsible for our own heart and actions. If we try to ignore this principle that Jesus taught, we only hurt ourselves.
Seeing the “mote” in someone else’s eye when the “beam” is not seen in our own eye is caused by one basic concept and that is thinking too highly of ourselves and not highly enough of others. God’s word when applied properly is designed to break down one’s ego and to fill us with thoughts of good in others. It makes us want to serve and not necessarily be served. Look at the following Scriptures that teach this very thing:
Romans 15:2-“Let everyone of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.”
Romans 3:23-“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
1 John 1:8-“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
Luke 18:13-“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying God, be merciful to me a sinner.”
Romans 12:10-“Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another. “
Philippians 2:3-5-“Doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting the other better than himself; not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. Having this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 2:1-“Therefore thou art inexcusable, 0 man, whosoever thou are that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same thing.”
Psalms 19:14-“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, 0 Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”
With these Scriptures in mind, please answer the following questions:
(1) Am I willing to admit that others may excel me in many good qualities?
(2) Have I developed the art of looking within myself to see my weaknesses?
(3) Do I question the motives of others before I know all the facts in a matter?
(4) Am I jealous when I see someone with talents I do not possess?
(5) (Be honest now.) Do I think of myself as better than others?
(6) Am I always right, no matter what?
(7) Do I find something easy to justify in myself but would question the very same thing if someone else did it?
(8) Do I suspect wrong in someone else, then look for it and all the while hoping to find fault in others?
(9) Will you resolve now, right now, to do some soul searching, forgetting about the “motes” and start worrying about the “beams”?
Remember friend, the apostle Paul states in Romans 12:3 that we are “not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think Think on these things!
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 21, p. 651
November 1, 1984