Sid and Barney head out for their usual 9 holes. Sid says, “Let’s make the time worth the while, at least for one of us, and bet $5 on the lowest score for the day.” Barney agrees and they enjoy a great game. After the 8th hole, Barney is ahead by one stroke, but hits his ball into the rough on the 9th.
“Help me find my ball, you look over there,” he says to Sid. After five minutes, neither has had any luck, and since a lost ball carries a four-stroke penalty, Barney quietly pulls a ball from his pocket and tosses it to the ground. “I’ve found my ball!” he announces triumphantly.
Sid looks at him forlornly, “After all the years we’ve been friends, you’d cheat me in golf for a measly five bucks!?”
“What do you mean cheat? I found my ball sitting right here!”
“And a liar, too!” Sid says with amazement. “I’ll have you know I’ve been standing on your ball for the last five minutes!”
It’s so easy to point the finger at others when we’re guilty of the same thing! That was the problem with the Pharisees. It wasn’t just their judgment (because some judgment is appropriate and necessary). The problem was the kind of judgment, their anxiousness to find fault in others while taking no time to examine their own lives.
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is 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.” (Matthew 7:3-4)