Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Mt. 7:3-5)
“Didn’t we already cover this?”
Yes, but have we gotten it yet? Have we stopped feeling and speaking and acting like the real problems in our marriages are “out there” with him/her? Have we stopped being so blind to our own sin and contributions to our conflicts and stopped presuming we see our spouses sin and contributions so clearly?
We need to evaluate our motives.
We need to begin with our own logs.
On page 119, Harvey gives us two reasons we must begin with our own logs:
First, dealing with our own sin helps us to “see clearly” (v. 5). Removing my sin grants me the perspective and clarity that comes with humility. It improves my discernment and clears away much of the debris obstructing my view. We’ll never be able to see 20/20 in this life, but cutting away my own log lets me see through the lens of compassion and care rather than the searing eyes of judgment and self-righteousness.
Second, a little lumber work prepares me for the Savior’s ultimate goal. Gaining perspective has a purpose: ministry to others, in this case, my spouse. Self-examination alone cannot produce a sweet marriage, but only self-examination can provide the humble clarity of sight I need to serve my spouse. My own logging efforts position me for speck-removal.
So, once again, we begin by looking in. But we don’t stop there. Matthew 7:3-5 does not stop at log-removal. It sets us up to see clearly when there is a need for spiritual surgery on our spouse.