And Jesus offered this example, “Can a blind person lead another blind person? Surely both will fall into a ditch. A disciple is not above the master; but when fully trained, he will be like the master. So why do you pay attention to the speck in your brother’s eye while you have a log in your eye and are not conscious of it? How can you say to your neighbor: ‘Friend, let me take this speck out of your eye,’ when you can’t remove the log in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the log from your own eye and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your neighbor’s eye.
“How can you say to your neighbor: ‘Friend, let me take this speck out of your eye,’ when you can’t remove the log in your own?”
This recommendation of Jesus raises a problem: We are all sinful people, since we all have “specks” in our eyes (or even big “logs” at times!). But do we have the right to go on correcting our brothers and sisters through preaching, counseling, advising, exhorting? Or if so, are we not then necessarily hypocritical?
Perhaps the following considerations can provide some answers to the problem.
First, we have the example of the apostles who, though still very imperfect (Phil 3:12; 1 Cor 9:27) and aware of it, nevertheless went on preaching.
Second, actually the preacher in no way claims to be perfect. In fact, he is preaching to himself just as much as he is preaching to others (cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis n. 13; 1 Tim 4:15-16). And, if ever the preacher has illusions about his practice of what he is preaching on, he can always be sure that sooner or later he will be corrected by his colleagues (Gal 3:11-14; Presb. Ord. n. 8), by the faithful, and by life itself.
Third, the saints themselves give us an example of honesty in this respect: they preached most often on what was their own personal problem, on what they naturally lacked: humility, chastity, etc.
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