The Gospel according to Luke (6:39-42)
Jesus told his disciples a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.”
How true this is! How easy it is to see the minor faults of others and, at the same time, fail to see our own more obvious and serious faults. Why is this the case?
First of all, it’s hard to see our own faults because our sin of pride blinds us. Pride keeps us from any honest self-reflection. Pride becomes a mask we wear which presents a false persona. Pride is an ugly sin because it keeps us from the truth. It keeps us from seeing ourselves in the light of truth and, as a result, it keeps us from seeing the log in our own eye.
When we are full of pride, another thing happens. We start to focus in on every small fault of those around us. Interestingly, this Gospel speaks of the tendency to see the “splinter” in your brother’s eye. What does that tell us? It tells us that those who are full of pride are not so much interested in putting down the serious sinner. Rather, they tend to seek out those who have only small sins, “splinters” as sins, and they tend to try and make them seem more serious than they are. Sadly, those steeped in pride feel far more threatened by the saint than by the serious sinner.
Reflect, today, upon whether or not you struggle with being judgmental toward those around you. Especially reflect upon whether or not you tend to be more critical of those striving for holiness. If you do tend to do this, it may reveal that you struggle with pride more than you realize.