If we are quick to perceive blemishes and faults in others
(J.R. Miller, "Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ" 1890)
"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?" Matthew 7:3
It is strange how oblivious we can be to our own faults and blemishes — and how clearly we can see those of other people! One old writer says: "Men are more apt to use a magnifying glass to behold other men's faults — than a mirror to behold their own!" A man can see a little speck of dust in his neighbor's eye — while utterly unaware of the great plank in his own eye! He observes the most minute fault in his brother — while unconscious of his own far greater faults!
We would say that a plank in a man's eye would so blind him — that he could not see the speck in another's eye. As our Lord represents it, however, the man with the plank, is the very one who sees the speck and thinks himself competent to remove it!
So it is in morals. No man is so sharp at seeing a fault in another — as he who has the same or a similar fault of his own! A vain man — is the first to detect the indications of vanity in another. A bad-tempered person — is most apt to be censorious toward a neighbor who displays bad temper. One with a sharp uncontrolled tongue — has the least patience with another whose speech is full of poisoned arrows. A selfish man — discovers even specks of selfishness in others. Rude people — are the very first to be hurt and offended by the rudeness of a neighbor.
So it is always. If we are quick to perceive blemishes and faults in others — the probability is, that we have far greater blemishes and faults in ourselves! This truth ought to make us exceedingly careful in our judgments, and exceedingly modest in our expressions of censure — for we really are telling the world our own faults! It is wiser, as well as more in accordance with the spirit of Christ — for us to find lovely things in others, and to be silent regarding their faults.