Removing a plank out of your eye (another EXTREMELY misused and abused scripture in Matthew 7).
When it comes to the part about removing the plank out of your eyes first then you can remove the speck out of your brother’s eye, that part is addressing hypocritical judging, also it is showing that both persons are blind in need of sight. Something in your eyes can impair your vision, in this scripture it means your judgement is impaired. In order to judge correctly without hypocrisy, in order to judge righteously, you must remove the plank first.
Many take the plank in the eye to mean nobody can judge anyone BUT this verse is not advising people to NEVER judge it is actually showing you can but NOT until you have first removed the plank out of your own eyes. Instead of people using this verse to get Christians out of their faces, these people miss a HUGE and important message in this verse. (1) It’s showing you that the plank can be removed. What people should be trying to understand is (2) What does it mean to remove the plank? (3) How is the plank removed?
The plank is removed by ceasing from practicing sin yourself. You first examine yourself and realize your own sins and you should desire to be cleansed of those. Christ came to redeem us from our sins. This realization of the goodness of God, the forgiveness of God, is supposed to bring a person to repentance. It is (REPENTANCE) being born again and now walking according to a renewed mind which is what it means to FIRST remove the plank out of your own eye.
Now the scripture doesn’t end there, it says that AFTER you have removed the plank THEN you can go to your brother and remove the speck from his eyes. How do you remove the speck from another person’s eye? The same way the plank was removed from your own, repentance. The knowledge that they are a sinner in need of a savior and Christ is that Savior who died to redeem us from our sins. Now when they have believed this and repented of their sins, THEN the speck is also removed out of their eyes too. So now both are free from their blindness. It is truth that sets a person free. (See John 8:32) So when people are preaching to repent of your sins it is not judging, it is the truth that God commands to be preached to all the ends of the earth in order to set people free. Free from what? The bondage of sin.