Jesus asked, “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?… Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Mt. 7:3, 5)
One of the points we should gather from this instruction is that sin clouds our vision. Sin does not allow us to see clearly. If you have unconfessed sin, unrepentant sin, outstanding sin, you can’t see clearly. The world is distorted. Your judgment is impaired. Confession of sin and repentance is God’s ordinary way of healing moral blindness. But one of the other lessons is that sometimes those most interested in confronting others do so precisely because they can’t see clearly. The plank in their own eye distorts the world, distorts the situation, and in that state it appears that the problem is the other fellow, your brother and his speck. Are you constantly evaluating others, constantly judging their behavior, spotting inconsistencies, comparing yourself to them? Jesus says beware, with the judgment that you judge, you will be judged. Do you want to be evaluated the way you evaluate others? Do you want to be scrutinized the way you scrutinize others? Do you want others to assume about you what you assume about them? Jesus says we should always begin with ourselves, confessing our own sin, our own complicity, our own faults, our own weakness. Maybe your brother needs help, maybe your sister really does need your assistance, but before you offer to get out your tweezers, you should make sure you’ve used those tweezers a number of times on yourself successfully.
So we’ve come to confess our sins. This means that we are here to confess our own sins and not our brother’s sins. And secondly, we confess our own sins so that we might see clearly so that we might love our brothers and sisters as we ought.
We do this because Jesus is our King. He is our Lord, and He has delivered us out of the darkness into the kingdom of His light.