"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye ..." (Luke 6:41-42)

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Luke 6:41-42)

Why do we criticize others for our own faults?

Throughout society, we are quick to judge others and criticize others for their various faults. In fact, we often are most critical for those faults in others that we ourselves have.

The very fact that we can see those faults in others typically reflects that we ourselves have those very faults. There is in fact, a saying about this, that "it takes one to know one."

Our realization of fault in others lies in our awareness that this is indeed a fault. How would we think that this is a fault unless we saw it within ourselves?

There are two types of judgments a person may make: The first is a judgment coming from a place of feeling superior to others - feeling we are in a position to judge others.

This first type - rooted in the position of feeling we are superior to others - is the first fault we, in fact, see in ourselves that we reflect onto others. This is why we will more harshly condemn those who portray themselves as superior to others. We are quick to strike back at them because we see their demeanor of superiority.

Why are we so quick to lash out and criticize someone who acts with such a demeanor? Because we see that very same demeanor within ourselves, and we have disdain for that.

Why is our disdain for others actually disdain for ourselves?

If we did not have such disdain against this superiority mentality within us, we would only feel sorry for such a person having that issue. We would not need to lash out at them and criticize them.

And deep within we feel disdain for our feelings of superiority because this is not our true nature. Our true nature is humble.

But because we unconsciously hold with disdain our own feeling of superiority, we are ready to quickly lash out at others who portray such symptoms, even in small amounts.

From this fulcrum we are ready to lash out in so many ways, being super-critical of how our friends, family, workmates and even media personalities act. We are ready to pounce upon their every move and action, all stemming from this disdain regarding our feelings of superiority.

This feeling of superiority, in fact, is our greatest disease; and it is the very disease that got us thrown out of the spiritual realm in the first place. This feeling of superiority is linked with self-centeredness - feeling that we are the most important person.

Why is humility so important in spiritual life?

Humility is the consciousness of heaven. The community of the spiritual realm is completely opposite to this consciousness. This is our real family. The family of our physical body is temporary - and lasts only as long as the body lasts. But the family of the spiritual realm is eternal.

Our brothers and sisters within the spiritual realm - our real family - naturally put themselves below everyone else. While we like to put ourselves above others, they put themselves at the bottom. This is called real humility.

The fact that real humility is the consciousness of the spiritual realm has been taught by Jesus elsewhere, such as:
"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3)
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:3)
In both of these statements, Jesus is portraying the spiritual world - the "kingdom of heaven" - as a place where its citizens are humble. Jesus compared them to the consciousness of some young children who obviously were portraying humility as they looked up to others.

Yet we do not need to become artificially humble. This has no benefit. Such a person who acts humble so everyone will respect them for their humility is simply playing a game. It is superficial.

However, if a person is sincere in their approach to the Supreme Being, they can develop real humility when they begin to get a glimpse of the greatness of God. As they see God's incredible personality - His graciousness, His unconditional love and forgiveness, His beauty, His kindness, His thoughtfulness and His care for everyone, we automatically are humbled by this.

We become humbled when we understand our true identity - not these physical bodies nor the roles they play in the physical world. When we realize that we are spiritual children of the Supreme Being - created to be His loving caregiver. With this realization comes real humility.

What does humility have to do with God?

True humility awakens our relationship with God. Real humility opens us up to the blessings of God and God's representatives, because God can see our hearts at every moment. When we are feeling superior to others and being judgmental of others, He knows we need lots of rehabilitation, for we are far from the consciousness of the spiritual realm - our pure consciousness. But should we remain determined, and we slowly advance in our desire to be with Him, He opens up to us more and more, and this increasingly sheds our feelings of superiority.

And it is only in this state - of feeling we are lower than others - that we can help others. It is only when we "clearly see" our own faults, knowing we need God's help, that we can be of service to others. This Jesus explained when he said:
"If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." (Mark 9:25)
It is only when a person sees themselves as a servant of others and a servant of the Supreme Being can they truly help others. This is because there is only one person who is qualified to judge others, and that is God. If we are serving God, and providing a service to others, we are then able to truly discern what is pleasing to God versus what is not pleasing.

Only in that condition can we truly provide assistance to others by pointing out activities that are pleasing to God, discerning those from activities that are not pleasing to Him. This of course, is how Jesus and so many of the prophets - as well as Jesus' own students - were able to appropriately criticize those ecclesiastical Jewish scribes and their institutions. Their critical statements stemmed from their service to the Supreme Being. They were providing a service to God and to others by clarifying what pleases God and what doesn't.

Remember that Jesus is speaking here with his students, and he expects them to one day carry his message forth to others. This will require that they re-establish their own humble relationships with the Supreme Being. Jesus wants them to reach this state of "seeing clearly," so they can help others, in order to "remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Reaching this point of humble service ("seeing clearly") requires a determined process of following the instructions put forth by God's representatives. Jesus clearly indicated and practiced this process: praying to God, praising God, offering to God and giving oneself to God. These are the processes to achieve the goal Jesus and Moses both laid out, which is the ultimate consciousness of real humility:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'" (Luke 10:27 and Deuteronomy 6:5)