You Can’t Spell Splinter without Sin // Matthew 7:5

I had something very unusual happen the other day…a flat tire. Now, I guess that isn’t all that unusual, but it was the culprit that makes me shake my head. I took my car to the tire shop, and the technician summoned me to the bay once determining the cause of the flat. I asked on our way out if it would make their jar of shame, containing all the unusual things that puncture tires. The tech said, I don’t think so, and then showed me a splinter…seriously, a SPLINTER! The tech had never seen anything like it, and of course, the wood essentially disintegrated once it was removed from the tire. People came to gather around and see the splinter that flattened a tire. Everyone remarked that could only happen if every single condition was right. Amazing!

As unusual as it is for a splinter to deflate a tire, Jesus taught that splinters can be quite damaging under the right circumstances. We read these words from the Lord in Matthew 7:5, “And why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, but not notice the beam in your own eye?” Jesus was teaching about judgment and how we tend to make a big deal out of others’ little things while paying little attention to the big things in ours. This certainly was not unique to Jesus’ earthly ministry, because it’s something we deal with daily.

Think about it this way: you can’t spell splinter without sin. It is sinful for us to minimize our own problems while maximizing someone else. This is the essence of hypocrisy: believing one thing and behaving another. So, let me ask you, what splinters do you tend to focus on in the lives of others? What beams do you tend to ignore in your own life? Realize this is hypocrisy and violates our instructions for living from Jesus Himself. After all, you can’t spell splinter without sin, and sin can deflate the strongest of relationships.