Take Care of Your Beam

Matthew 7:3-5

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye

We can see it so clearly! It glares at us like the sun shining off the snow on a crisp, clear winter day. It shines so brightly we almost have to turn away or cover our eyes. Our eyes focus in on it and must go and tell others about the amazing sight they have just witnessed. We must spread the word that it exists, and that it is there for everyone to see. We just can’t miss it and we want to make sure they don’t either. What is it? It’s our brothers faults and shortcomings, that’s what.

It is so evident what is wrong with those around us, isn’t it? If they are full of anger, we know it. If they are prideful we certainly know that. If they are gossips of busybodies we will make sure everyone knows that. The truth is, we are so quick to see what is supposedly wrong with everyone around us that we forget we are imperfect beings as well. We all are!

The admonition of Jesus in these verses is quite clear, and it follows the exhortation to not judge one another. As always, perfect timing! When we try and figure someone out by looking through our imperfect eyes, we most likely will see them wrong. We most likely will look through a lens that is cloudy or warped by our own preconceived ideas and notions. Our vision is blocked by who we are and what we have seen or heard. There is a beam in our eye, and that beam is our own faults and failures.

It boils down to this – take care of your own problems first. Take care of your own shortcomings, whether they be in the things of this world or spiritual things. Paul tells us to “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) What this means is that we are all flawed when we compare ourselves to Christ. That is the only comparison we should make. We should never compare our spiritual progress with someone else’s. We have our own problems when it comes to perfection. While it is true that we are saved when we confess Jesus Christ and accept His sacrifice as an atonement for our sins, that salvation comes into our innermost being. We are made new creatures in Christ at that moment (2 Corinthians 5:17). But we are still clothed with this flesh and all it’s imperfections. For the rest of our lives, that perfect salvation that entered our soul needs to be worked outward to affect the flesh we are burdened with.

Our brother is also clothed with that flesh and God is working on Him as well. The trouble is that we have no idea what God is working on in their lives or where He is taking them. They are on their own journey, with all their flaws and faults. God is working on them. Why do we feel a need to point out their weak areas? Don’t you think God can point them out and take care of them? Doesn’t He know all about them already? And if God was concerned with that imperfection that you see, won’t He take care of it in His due time? Of course He will!

Then why do we insist on pointing out someone else’s faults? I think it is because of pride. We want to see ourselves as better or more important. We may see this other person as someone smarter or more entertaining then we are so we bring up their weaknesses as a way of making us feel better. That’s pride. Anytime we compare ourselves to others thinking we are better or worse, it is pride. Pride is simply thinking an inordinate amount of time about ourselves, whether it is thinking good of ourselves or bad. Our pride will look past our own faults but look directly at someone else’s.

Reading Psalm 139 can really put some perspective on our lives. Gpd says He knows every thought we have and every word we say. He says no matter where we go, He is there. The psalmist says God always knows exactly where I am. If you think you’re pulling one over on God because you have a secret sin lurking in your life you are sadly mistaken. He knows that sin, and He knows others that you may just ignore, He does not reveal everything that is wrong with our lives all at once. He reveals things to us a little at a time and gives us the grace to deal with one thing at a time. If He showed us all our faults at once, we would be devastated at our wretchedness.

He follows this same process with every one of His children. And if He is dealing with their lives, what right do we have to intercede? Can’t we just let God do His job instead of trying to do it for Him? Remember what the serpent said to Eve when He tempted her to take the fruit? He said You shall be as God (Gen 3:5)! And when we look at the mote in our brothers eye that is exactly what we are doing. We are trying to be like God, showing them their imperfections, when we have our own huge imperfections to deal with.

Later in Psalm 139 vs 17-18 the psalmist writes that God has precious thoughts toward us. Even as He sees all our imperfections and all our wandering off the path He has designed for us, He still has precious thoughts toward us. So many precious thoughts that they cannot be numbered! If He can look at us, with all our faults, and still think of us as precious, why can’t we do the same to our brothers and sisters on this earth? Instead of pointing out their failures, lift up their successes! Instead of trying to point out what they are doing wrong, help them see all they are doing right. Lift them up, edify them and encourage them in all things. This is what we are supposed to do.

Then at the end of this precious psalm (vs 23-24), the psalmist makes an extraordinary statement. He asks God to search Him and see if there be any wicked way in Him. He has already acknowledged that God knows every thought, every word, every action that he takes. Why then does he ask God to search Him? It is so God can reveal to him his own wicked ways so that he, the psalmist, might be able to understand the thing he needs to correct. Then he will be able to remove the beam out of his own eye and see clearly.

There are times that God will work with us to help someone overcome a fault. I will readily admit that. But we must make sure it is the stirring of the Holy Spirit within us that is causing us to feel we must help. If it is not, we are most likely going to bring an offence between us, or we will sow discord among the brethren, which is listed as one of the things God hates in Proverbs 6. I can honestly say it is very rare that God has ever asked me to help correct someone else’s faults in my 40+ years as a Christian, and that person was my best friend for 60+ years. We know each other inside and out so when God starts to deal with me about him, I can be blunt with him and know he will still love me. Not many of us have that kind of relationship with someone else. If you ever feel God is dealing with you in this area, pray earnestly before you say anything and make the Holy Spirit bears witness.

First and foremost work on yourself. Work on your salvation. Work on your trouble areas. When I think about that, I think of a song my kids used to sing when they were little. I still sing it to myself sometimes today. I want to close the lesson with this:

He’s still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
‘Cause He’s still workin’ on me

There really ought to be a sign upon my heart
Don’t judge him yet, there’s an unfinished part
But I’ll be better just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master’s loving hands

He’s still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
‘Cause He’s still workin’ on me

In the mirror of His word
Reflections that I see
Makes me wonder why He never gave up on me
But He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He’s the potter, I’m the clay

He’s still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
‘Cause He’s still workin’ on me

“He’s Still Working on Me” by Joel Hemphill

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4 thoughts on “Take Care of Your Beam

  1. working4christtwo

    LOVED THIS Lesson Pete! {and the poem was awesome}

    One of the few things I recall from High school {50+ years ago} was an English Literature Class on Shakespeare: “TO THY OWN SELF BE TRUE”
    That became the BEACON that lit my life path.
    We should hesitate to JUDGE, but when it is necessary, do so objectively on the merits of their works; Not on speculation; not on the word of others; only on facts. Amen!
    Continued Blessings my friend,
    Patrick

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Donald John

    Bravo, Pete!

    How can a man be a good steward of his Father’s house if he cannot manage his own home? What concord hath Christ with Belial?

    Folks just thank God, throw away the beam (plank), throw it in the trash can, and immediately inspect for sawdust in others. It is comparable to the holy rollers leaving their bible in the bunk drawer when they are paroled from prison.

    Salvation is not once and for all. The KJ Bible says to work out thy own salvation with great fear and trembling. Scripture also tells us it is impossible to come back for those who have tasted the goodness of God and the Holy Ghost to be brought back to repentance; seeing as how they keep the King crucified and brought to open shame.

    Embrace your thorn. His Grace is sufficient.

    Giving all Glory to the eternal Godhead found in our wonderful Counselor; Jesus Christ.

    -Your brother John

    Liked by 1 person

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