The Sin Of Fault-Finding
Matthew 7:1-5Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brothers eye.
1) Jesus is not teaching that one has to be perfect before he can correct the faults of others--
a) If so--No corrections would ever be made--
Because at his best--Man is still sinful
1 John 1:88 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
2) Neither is our lord forbidding us to decide as to the personal merit of those we would help.
a) If so--We could not obey the command given which requires us to reach a conclusion as to who the dogs and swine are;
Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
3) Jesus aimed this question in v. 3 of our text at the fault-finder
4) He ridiculed this sin of faultfinding by using the figure of a man with a whole log in his eye attempting to extract a tiny speck from his neighbor's eye.
a) Notice this--suppose a man came up to you with a log protruding from an eye and says "Pardon me, sir, but I detect a spect in your eye. May I help remove it?"--How ridiculous.
I) Jesus called this faultfinder a hypocrite v.5 of our text. His behavior is hypocritical for a number of reasons
1)He is hypocritical because he is nothing like as good as he thinks or pretends.
a) His self-righteous eye has blinded him to his own faults
b) His vision is very abnormal--He sees his neighbor's mistakes at a distance much better than he sees his own at close range.
c) He needs some bi-focals.
d) This was the sin of the Pharisee Who went up to the temple to pray (Lk 18:9-14 read).
e) This Pharisee could easily see the speck in this poor publican's eye--But he was totally blind to the beam in his own eye.
f) That beam was a conceited opinion of self Lk 18:11-12.
g) He had a wonderful opinion of self--There was nothing wrong with self and he knew it.
h) This reminds me of the man who said "I think I could see my own faults; if I had any."
2) The faultfinder's action is motivated by the selfish and hypocritical desire to build himself up by tearing another down.
a) It is the critic's way of adding to his own by way of contrast.
b) this was the real motive of the Pharisee in comparing himself to the Publican.
c) He thought it would make his own light shine brighter.
d) But really--No person can trim the wick nor shine the globe of his own lamp by trying to blow out another's light.
3) Another hypocritical motive of some faultfinding is to console a biting conscience.
a) When our sins gnaw at conscience--We often seek comfort by saying something like this--"It grieves me so, the way Joe is doing; I just would not have thought it of him".
b) This indirectly implies --"I am not as bad as he is"
c) But this gives only false security--For our own sins cannot be whitewashed by the mistakes of others.
d) The Bible states that the making of such comparisons is unwise.
2 Corinthians 10:12For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
4) The faultfinder is hypocritical because he is often motivated by envy.
a) Of all the sins--There is no vice meaner and more malicious than envy.
b) It may be defined--"Discontent at the excellence or good fortune of others."
c) It is the feeling of a small caliber person which cannot stand for another to have that which he does not possess.
d) Envy is a work of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21 read)
e) Envy is--
Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
f) Envy is a malignant condition which eats into the very bones and marrow of a man's character--Destroying him rather than the object of his envy.
g) Envy is a work of hate.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
II) Lets notice--The faultfinder hurts himself more than anyone else.
A) It is true that he injures his brother--But he inflicts the greatest injury upon himself
1) First--He binds himself to his own faults. His chances for improvement are nil--For he sees no need of it.
2) He has put out his eyes to the virtues of others.
a) He cannot see good in his brother--Because he is looking for faults (evil).
b Just such persons found fault with Jesus--Not because the sin actually existed--But they were seeking it.
Matthew 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
3) The faultfinder is never a factfinder--He has destroyed his own ability to discern between good and evil
a) But on the other hand--
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
b) To the faultfinder--Everything in the life of another is apt to do evil.
4) The faultfinder can have very frew friends--Because his friendships are short lived.
a) He gradually picks his friends to pieces and one by one he marks them off his list.
b) But of course--When his friends see through the faultfinder--They are happy to get off his list.
c) Wrong friendships are dangerous
Proverbs 22:24-25 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
5) Another way in which the Mote-hunter hurts himself is this--He has so exalted his ability to see the faults of others, that it will be hard for him to humble himself enough to repent of his own sins. (Luke 18:14 read)
a) We need to be very careful in finding the faults of others and magnifying them --In so doing, we injure both ourselves and others.
III) Let's notice a few rules to follow in overcoming this sin of mote-hunting.
1) First--Always remember that faultfinding is a despicable pastime that requires nothing great--Physically or Mentally.
a) Someone has truly said "No talent, not self-denial, no brains, no character are required to set up in the grumbling business".
2) We need to become consious of the sinfulness of faultfinding or mote-hunting and then watch and pray against it.
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
3) Another way that will help one overcome the sin of mote-hunting is to make up our minds that we are going to look for good instead of evil in the lives of others.
a) Make up our mind that we are going to magnify a brother's virtues and minimize his shortcomings.
b) In illustrating this point one time--A bible teacher placed a black dot in the center of a large sheet of white paper--Holding it up before the class he asked "What do you see?--Nearly every one said "a black spot"
c) Yet they did not notice the white surrounding the black spot.
d) This is true of nearly all mankind--We are quick to see the black spots in the lives of others--But we are slow to see all of the whiteness that is there also.
4) But I believe the thing that will help more to overcome this terrible sin is--A look at self first. Read v.5 of the text. (Also read 2 Cor 13:1-5)
a) Paul is not suggesting here that we take an examination--But that we make one.
b) After a good look at ourselves--It will take the joy out of criticism. 1 John 1:8.
5) The whole point of this lesson is--We must look after self first.
a) the most important thing to me should be not whether my neighbor's scales are true--But whether mine are true.
6) If you are not a christian you know that you are not well-pleasing to God.
John 8:24 For if ye believe not that I am he--
Luke 13:3 Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Matt 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me--
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.
a) When you do this you are taking care of self.
b) If you are a christian and have fallen victim of the sin of mote-hunting or any other sin--Why not cast out the beam out of your own eye--by repentance, confession, and prayer. Will you come.
Return to the Sermon Outlines Page
Return to the General Articles page
Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /