J.R. Miller D.D.
Come Ye Apart
Begin at Home
“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.”
Begin at home — that is the teaching; not at home in the general sense, with other members of thy family, but very close at home, with thyself. It is a good deal easier, of course, to pull motes out of other people’s eyes than beams out of one’s own. Yet we are not put in this world to look after other people’s faults, to pick the dust out of their eyes, to remove their specks of blemish. Our first business is to get rid of our own faults. At least we are scarcely competent to take the grain of dust out of another’s eye while a beam protrudes from our own. We are not ready to do much toward curing our friend of his faults until we have sincerely tried to rid ourselves of our own.
We all know people whose very presence is a silent rebuke of sin. Their lives are pure and holy, and their unconscious influence is a restraint upon all evil. We are ofttimes told that one of the truest tests of a good friendship is that our friend can tell us of our faults and we shall receive it kindly. That depends first on ourselves, and then upon our friend. If we are proud and vain, it will be very hard for any friend, the wisest and gentlest, to speak to us of our faults, save at the peril of the friendship. Then if the friend treats our faults in a conceited and censorious way, it will be equally dangerous. He who would truly help to take the motes out of our eyes must come to us in tender love, proving his generous and unselfish interest in us. He must come to us humbly, not as our judge but as our brother, with faults like our own which he is trying to cure. If he approaches us in this way, conscious of his own infirmity, desiring to be helpful to us, as Christ has been helpful to him, nothing but unpardonable vanity and self-conceit will prevent our accepting his kind offer.