The following is a true account of a modern day Pharisee, who, while seeking to remove the speck out of her brother’s eye, received a much needed God-appointed rebuke. This is written by that self-appointed guide to the blind and a light to those in supposed darkness, and this is how I strained out that gnat described in Matthew 23:24.
I decided that my husband shouldn’t lick his knife while eating. I’ve tried to get through to him that if he doesn’t break this bad habit at home he’ll end up with bad manners in restaurants where the entire world would witness him licking food and butter off a knife. It doesn’t look very nice, so it’s better to lick (so to speak!) bad habits before they get out of hand.
Fast forward to the restaurant where we’re dining with a friend. There’s a bit of tasty hummus left on the communal plate. Too good to waste, I think. But not seeing a chip or bread piece with which to carry it to my mouth, and with no awareness of what I’m about to do, I use my knife to scoop the last delicious bit and then proceed to polish the knife with my mouth. The camel gets swallowed and it doesn’t taste very good!
Me: Miss Manners, Miss Righteous, Miss Plank, licked her knife in public. The world can’t stand a hypocrite, and rightfully so. The Lord Jesus warns people of people like me. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” Jesus says repeatedly in Matthew 23. As I sit at table, stuffed with dromedary, this is what I'm thinking: “I condemn knife licking in my husband and put a stupid yoke and burden on him, yet I declare myself exempt to this ridiculous rule and regulation!?”
Forgive me, Lord.
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye. Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:41-42)
(By the way, my husband now knows that he can lick his knife as often as he likes!)