Why do we find it so much easier to point out the faults of others instead of dealing with our own? For example, when we are driving how many times do we accuse other drivers of being careless and inconsiderate? And what about parents of young children who seem incapable of controlling them in public? Or what about the Sister who hogs the newspaper or who isn’t as perfect as I am? We can easily pass our days issuing a stream of faultfinding and petty criticism. Why is this?
Perhaps the answer lies in our inability to recognize the plank in our own eye. But rather than go on a plank-hunting expedition, the best thing we can do is let God show us how he looks at us. After all, his eyes are perfectly clear of any specks and planks. That means he can teach us a lot when it comes to the way we look at ourselves—and at each other.
So how does God look at us? Well, according to the prophet Jeremiah, he loves us intimately, unconditionally, and unfailingly (Jeremiah 1:5). The prophet Isaiah says He has engraved us on the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16) and He sweeps away our transgressions “like a cloud” (Isaiah 44:22). He looks on us with compassion and concern, not with a cold calculation of all of our faults and misdeeds. He rejoices with us in our successes and mourns over our failures. And best of all, the prophet Hosea tells us that God will never abandon us (Hosea 11:9).
So why should we not trust God and let him show us the plank in our eye? We know He won’t condemn us and He won’t love us any less. Now of course, once we recognise our plank it may sting a bit. But like a skilled surgeon, God knows how to remove that plank from our eye with as little discomfort as possible. All he wants to do is help us so that we can see the people around us more clearly—in the light of his love and mercy.