Good Shepherd Lutheran Church


The Shepherd's Staff

Now I Can See That Speck in His Eye!

Posted by Ted Moeller on

Criticism. We’ve all had to deal with it at one time or another. Sometimes it’s unjust; or worse, said about us and we’re not even aware of it. However, that’s less likely than we tend to think. Most of us are pretty good at sensing criticism—even where it’s not. And, truth be told, sometimes criticism is more than warranted.

You’d think, since we all know criticism can be hard to take, how much it hurts, we’d strive to be better at not dishing it out. Recall that old adage: “When you point a finger at someone else, you’re pointing three others back at yourself!” So true. I like the way Jesus puts it (actually, I love all the times he exaggerates to make his point!). It’s part of his sermon on the mount.

Judge not, that you not be judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured unto you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a 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.

In a book I read recently I came across this intriguing notion that criticism is like a nut surrounded by a hard shell. The hard shell constitutes the biased perspective that another person projects on you—something you should discard and ignore. If you can toss the criticism’s outer trappings, you will often discover something valuable and true in the core. That’s the good part, and it’s a lot easier to swallow.

I decided that’s a much healthier way to receive criticism. Henceforth, when it happens to me, I’m going to stop and think for a moment, then look that person in the eye and say, “That’s nuts!”  I’m sure they’ll understand.