Dealing with “Dogs” and “Pigs” (1)

Though usually treated separately, these twelve verses all go together, and provide practical instruction on how to deal with difficult people. What should I do when I notice that my “brother” has a fault? First, I must not condemn him. I may “judge” that his action or attitude is wrong; this type of moral evaluation must be made by anyone with a conscience. But I may not play the role of God and consign him to punishment (unless I am an officer of the law confronting a criminal). That is, I must not assume a self-righteous, prideful posture towards the one whose actions I think wrong. Otherwise, I shall have to face God’s judgment. He will use the same standard to measure me that I use to measure others. Those around me may do the same, if they hear me criticizing someone. So, before I say anything to my brother, I must examine myself, to see whether I, too, have a similar fault. In fact, I shall find that I am also guilty of failing to measure up to God’s perfect standards. To my surprise, I’ll discover that I have a “plank” in my eye, compared to the little “speck” in my brother’s eye. Then, I need to get rid of the “plank” in my own eye, so that I can see clearly enough to help my brother get the “speck” out of his eye. How do I do that? By prayer! If I earnestly ask God to forgive me and to change me, as Jesus had taught His disciples earlier (Matthew 6:12-13), He will surely answer me.