Specks and Logs
A survey on teen ethics asked nearly 30,000 high school students about their moral standards and behavior. Some of the results: 25% admitted to stealing from parents, relatives or friends during the past year; 33% said they had shoplifted; and 64% said they had cheated on at least one test. But most interesting of all, 77% of those students said they believe they are “better than most people” when it comes to doing the right thing!
Whether teens or adults, it’s easy to be blind to our own faults. And even when we acknowledge them, it’s easy to justify ourselves by thinking, At least I’m better than most people. We slip into the mindset of the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable, who prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people…” (Luke 18:11). We find it much simpler and more comfortable to look down on the sins of others than to address our own.
“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5).