A young couple moved into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they were eating breakfast, the young woman saw her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
“That laundry is not very clean,” she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”
Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband, ‘Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her.”
The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”
And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.
It is a fact of sinful human nature that we tend to see others in the shadow of our worst qualities. We at the same time close our eyes to those same faults in ourselves. Seeing someone as the laziest man in the world insures that you are not the laziest man in the world. Labeling someone as the biggest gossip in the community makes it appear that you are not the biggest gossip in the community, while in fact you just might be.
Jesus said, “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye,” (Luke 6:42).