Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at 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,’ and behold, the log is 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.”
“It’s YOUR fault!” “Why did YOU do this to me!?” “I would not have not reacted that way if YOU wouldn’t have done that!” “It is the husband/wife that YOU gave me Lord, fix him/her!”
BLAME. We are reminded that when we blame that we have one finger pointing at the other person and three back at us. Might I add that many times our thumbs are pointing up to blame God too?
As we see in Matthew 7, it is easier to see the sin in others’ lives without first looking at the sin in our own lives. We are reminded in the parable of the Pharisee and Publican in Luke 18:9-14 that the Pharisees “trusted in themselves,” that “they were righteous” and “viewed others with contempt;” standing and praying to God thanking Him that they were not like “other people” with their sins, or even like the Publican that was also there praying. Then he went in his pride to mention what he thought were his own righteous deeds before God. All the while the Publican humbly unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but beating his breast, said to God, “Be merciful to me, the sinner!” Wow! “THE” sinner not “a” sinner. The parable ends reminding us who was justified… Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.
I have a way of counseling myself when I am blaming or pointing out the faults/sins of others either outwardly or in my mind/heart:
First, to take the thumb down in blaming God by going to Him in humility and asking Him, “Lord, show me MY sin in this situation, change MY heart and mind toward those whom You so wonderfully gave to me to love and encourage, not to hurt and tear down”.
In continued confession to God, the middle finger pointing back at me is the largest finger, reminding me to confess like the Publican that I am THE greatest sinner before the perfect and holy God.
The ring finger is the one that reminds us and others of a promise. It makes me remember what Jesus did on the cross for my own sins as a reminder for me to be eager to forgive others who have wronged me.
The little finger reminds me of humility and the desire to be a thankful peacemaker with all those whom God graciously gives to me.
The index finger, which I use to point at others, I humbly point that one back at myself. Then, I go to them with what I have remembered about God’s righteousness and my sinfulness and confess my part of sinful behavior towards them, not using the “if”, “but” and “maybe” words. I also pause and quietly listen to what the other has to say. God works amazingly in our humility!
I must also mention that humility, taking the LOG out of our own eyes to see clearly, is impossible without dependence on God. As we do this with God, we find that peacemaking in relationships creates worship and honor for Him, and we delight in having peace with those around us.