Ophthalmology is the branch of medical science that deals with the anatomy, functions, and diseases of the eye. Because we are all affected with one particular disease of the eye, we all need a daily visit from our Omnipotent Ophthalmologist.
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)
Three times in five verses we are diagnosed with “plank-in-our-eye” disease. So the question we need to ask is not, “Do I have a plank?” but rather, “Just how big is the plank in my eye and how much harm is it doing to others?”
You and I find it much easier to spot the speck in our brother’s eye and make a big deal about it . . . while never acknowledging the rough-hewn planks jutting out of our own eyes. To be sure, the sins and shortcomings in the lives of others that offend us most are no more or less conspicuous in the sight of God as those sins and shortcomings that are most pronounced in our own lives.
And that is why we need our Omnipotent Ophthalmologist to give to us a daily eye exam and extract that protruding plank of self-righteousness that serves to lift us and lower others . . . in our own estimation.
Only the power of the Gospel will cause us to identify our own plank problems. The Gospel frees us to acknowledge our sins—both the flagrant and the more subtle ones—and take them to the foot of the cross to plead the blood of the Lamb. Our Omnipotent Ophthalmologist is pleased to go to work on every plank and every speck, and He will not stop working until every last splinter of every last plank has been removed. He has promised to carry the good work He began in us on to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Granted, this process can be painful at times. The eyes are very sensitive and easily irritated. But over time, as our Omnipotent Ophthalmologist washes us with His Word and His Spirit, applying the truths of the Gospel to our hearts, we find that when we rub our tired, aching eyes our protruding plank has shrunk down to speck-size!
When we our ugly plank is removed, we begin to see others as God sees them: as image-bearers of God. Every man, woman, and child has dignity and value. Because there is a God—and we most certainly are not Him—we can begin to accept others for where they are in their story and give them what God gives to us each day: unconditional love and unlimited forgiveness.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!