May 15: Yank the Plank

Series Big Idea
Modeling Jesus’ teachings builds a stronger family.

Teaching Big Idea
Before I expect it in you, you must see it in me.


Ice Breaker

  • Describe some ways you have been judged by others. Do you feel as though you were judged unfairly?

Scriptures for today include Matthew 5:13-16, 7:1-5, John 7:24

Observation & Interpretation

  • Read Matthew 5:13-16. As Christ followers, we are called the “salt of the earth”, and the “light of the world”.
    • With this in mind, isn't it the job of a Christ follower to shine a light on the sin happening around you? Explain your thinking about this question.
  • Read John 7:24. During the Festival of Tabernacles, Jesus said, “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly” (NLT).
    • How does this scripture fit with Jesus' teaching in Matthew 7:1, when He says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”?
    • How can you “judge correctly” without condemning or looking down on others?
  • By what measures do you find yourself judging others? How do you measure up against those standards?
  • Evaluate the statement: “Before I point out your sin, I need to look for traces within.”
    • Describe ways you can look for traces of sin within yourself. Name some practical habits that will help you evaluate your own spiritual health.

Focusing on what is wrong with others distracts you and I from focusing on what is not right within ourselves. In order to be a person who can “judge correctly”, I must first inspect my own motives, actions, words, etc. I must “yank the plank” from my own eye, before I can begin to help someone else see the sin in their life, and encourage them to change their ways. If I don't take care of my own shortcomings first, I am a hypocrite (Matthew 7:5).

Take action

  • Earlier, you were asked to name some practical habits that will help you to evaluate your own spiritual health. Now, let's move beyond identifying habits to making a plan to implement them. Choose one or two habits to practice this week. Consider writing them down as a reminder of your resolve to “yank the plank”, and post them somewhere that you see will see them daily. 
  • Have you judged someone unfairly, perhaps a family member? Confess your judgment to them, and ask this person for forgiveness.
  • Ask God to reveal to you sin that you need to deal with. Ask Him to help you consistently practice the habits you wrote down, so that the outcome of these habits will be a blessing to others, as well as to you.

Yank the Plank

  • First, I need to inspect myself before I expect it from others.
  • Second, I chose my approach by leading with grace and then truth.
  • I need to remember that seeing a speck in you is a cue to yank my plank.

Pray together, encouraging one another in love and grace.