Whose dirty washing?

The story is told of a young couple recently moved into a new house. Over breakfast on their first morning they watched a neighbour hang her washing out on the line. The wife observed, ‘That laundry’s not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash. Maybe she should use a different soap powder’. Her husband said nothing. Every time the neighbour hung out her washing the wife would make the same comment.

After a month or so she looked out the window and to her surprise saw that the neighbour’s washing was bright and clean. She said to her husband, ‘Look she finally learned how to wash properly.’ ‘No’, said her husband. ‘I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows. The woman’s washing was always clean’. 

And so it is that what we see when watching others depends entirely upon the clarity of the window through which we look. We must be careful not to judge others if our perspective is clouded by anger, jealousy, negativity or unfulfilled desires. As Jesus once put it, we should remove the plank from our own eye, before telling others to take the speck out of theirs.

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