He also told them a parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye. (Luk 6:39-42)
After calling us to a heavenly standard of living, Jesus shows the absurdity of leading others while being blind. To correct this blindness takes more than mere knowledge, it takes a transformed life. It’s not enough to know what is right, we must live out what is right if we are to lead others on the right path.
It is easy for us to see the log in our brother’s eye, but not so easy to see the splinter in our own eye. From our perspective the sins of our brothers are often much larger than the sins in our own life. This is primarily caused by a heart that is lifted up with spiritual pride. We act as the Pharisees when we judge others more harshly than we judge ourselves, especially when we claim to know the truth of our own sinful state apart from the mercy and grace of Christ.
When we pull the speck out of our own eye first two things happen. First, we are able to see the problem in our brother more clearly. Second, we are able to see the path that we are to walk on more clearly. In this way, pulling the speck out of our eye helps us to lead by example as we walk more circumspectly as an example to our brother while at the same time being better equipped for removing the log from our brother’s eye.
Many today shy away from the responsibility that we have to confront our brothers and sisters in Christ with their sins. The Scripture makes it clear that we do have a responsibility to Christ and our brethren for such confrontation, but it must be done biblically. We must do it with the proper motivation of love and with the proper methods as laid out in Scripture.
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, (Luk 17:3)
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. (Gal 2:11)
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment." (Joh 7:24)
These verses give us ample evidence that Scripture wants us to judge, but it wants us to do so properly. In Luke 17:3 we are given a command to rebuke our brother when he sins. But this command is balanced with the further command to forgive him. Following the biblical method as set forth in the above passages helps us to rightly judge and rightly love our brethren.
Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ? If so, then don’t allow them to walk around with unrepentant sins in their life. Confront them in a direct and loving way, being ready to forgive as God moves them from prideful sinning to humble repentance. Rather than lording it over them come to them in humility, understanding that you too have sins that must be dealt with. Show your faith in God and His word by following His methods rather than the methods of men.