“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
I’ve often heard this verse cited as a complete prohibition against helping our brother or sister when they are in error. Looking at the verse with a direct interpretation, I don’t see such a complete prohibition. Instead, it appears that Jesus is simply telling us that we cannot help anyone when we have not addressed our own problems, when we have not completed the proper self-introspection to discover our own faults. When you think about it, though, such an attitude of self-introspection also incorporates humility. When we have drawn close to God, we tend to be more and more concerned with our own sins than we are about the sins of others. I believe a preoccupation with the faults of others reveals a prideful attitude as well as a humanistic, comparative morality that does not consider sin in ourselves a serious issue – so long as we believe we can find someone else that is worse off than we are.
If we have such a prideful attitude, it is not likely that we can be helpful to someone else who is in error, and it is not likely that we will be led by the Holy Spirit in our words and actions in trying to help that person. It is absolutely critical that we be led by the Holy Spirit in an attitude of humility, knowing that we are no better than they are, the only difference being the work that God has completed in us. And it is absolutely critical that our words be spoken in love, which requires a close daily walk with God so that He can fill us with His Love and Power.
I pray that you will all walk in close fellowship with Him, being filled with His Joy, His Love, and His Power.