Luke 6:41 “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?”
The power of this verse is the understanding that most sin, mistakes, and wrongs (referred to as “events” hereafter) are common among all people. The truth is the number of issues you have yourself tend to be more than the issues by which you are judging another person. The difference is perspective. Place a 12” ruler between two people. One walks toward the ruler while the other backs away. The one backing away sees the ruler shrink to the size of a speck, while the one walking toward the ruler sees it grow to the size of a plank. We learn that both the plank and speck are the same size of ruler but look like two different sizes because of perspective.
The outcome of events is largely determined by whether you draw closer thereby enlarging your perspective or you walk away resulting in a smaller perspective. Using the picture of walking away or walking towards helps you better understand events. The event is the same for both people but looks different to each. Walking away allows the event to become smaller while seeing it in the context of the larger picture. Walking away allows for greater understanding, information, and a greater awareness for dealing with the event in relationship to its real importance. Walking towards causes the event to become bigger while missing the larger context of the event. You have narrowed your perspective of the event by your lack of information and understanding. You are now dealing with the event from a narrower perspective with little understanding because you have filtered it not through a broader lens which includes the offender, but rather from a narrower lens of your sin, needs, prejudices, experiences and hurts. You have made the event less important because of your inability to realistically deal with it. The event has lost perspective because two sides are talking past each other. Perspective is lost because the acquisition of knowledge and perspective has been put aside making it difficult to deal with what has occurred.
Luke 6:42 helps you to understand, empathize, and position yourself to work through events: “How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite. First take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.’” Angry, hurt, or irritated? First look at yourself to see why this event is causing so much angst in your life. This will help you deal with the real offense as well as with the things in your life that are often causing the same offense to others.
Most people are not willing to step away. Judgmentalism, critical nature, and victimhood are the ways of the world, while love, forgiveness, and serving are God’s ways. What is important is God’s desire to produce the fruit of the Spirit in you. Luke 6:37-38 directs you in God’s way to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Are you willing to follow God’s ways no matter the consequences or will you choose the world’s ways? Are you willing to shrink the ruler to a spec, so that God can intervene and use you in a very special way? Too often we choose the world’s ways and end up bitter, hurt, and vengeful; while God wants your life to be a megaphone for His love, purpose, and work.
One other point to consider in resolving conflict is Proverbs 12:2: “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Events, right or wrong, can always be God’s tool to better shape your life to one of Godly character. Never miss an opportunity for God’s hand to be at work in you! Do not allow an event to become a plank that blocks God shaping your life.
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
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