Mote and Beam

One of the every-day inconsistencies of human existence is the attempt to reform one's neighbor before having reformed one's self. This attempt is usually supposed to be justified by the belief that the error with the neighbor is so apparent and seems so real that it must be dealt with immediately, without stopping to consider the requirements of divine wisdom and justice. Thus it is that the ignorant or overzealous rush in oftentimes where even "angels fear to tread," and bring untold trouble upon those who are making an honest effort to solve their problems in their own way.

Jesus uses the very striking illustration of the mote and the beam in rebuking this inexcusable weakness of mortals. He says: "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? . . . 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 brother's eye." No more important lesson could possibly be brought home to the would-be follower of Christ, Truth. The disposition to look for error in others is one that cannot be too severely condemned. It is one of the curses of the human race. Its very presence and indulgence is proof positive that mortals are not the children of God, for "whosoever is born of God sinneth not."

The Master tells us plainly how to get rid of this obnoxious habit, and Christian Science insists that it shall be done: "First cast out the beam out of thine own eye." A beam is a very ponderous thing as compared with the diminutive mote. It is very evident, then, that any abnormal or enlarged sense of error rests with the individual who thinks he sees it in his neighbor. When this individual has cast it out of his own consciousness, reduced it to its primal nothingness, it will necessarily appear as a very small thing in his neighbor. This, therefore, is the only way to dispose of the error.

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"Commercializing" Prayer
July 24, 1915

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