This came to me through a friend and I’ve not found the source. The story has been around for a while and is a good one. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have:
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, The young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.Naturally, it reminds me of a verse:
"That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."
Her husband looked on, but remained silent.
Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:
"Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this."
The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."
And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look!
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, 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. (Matthew 7:2-5 KJV)
Did you notice that last sentence? Once we’ve removed our beam, once we’ve cleaned our own windows, we can be of help to others. I would expect that help is handy for our beam removal, too. Don’t deny it – you know you’ve had some! I sure have.
It is not good to offer to help others while our own spiritual housekeeping is disorderly, but we have the best cleaner available:
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalms 51:10 KJV)
In the story above, the wife did not appear concerned enough to tell her neighbor of the perceived problem – and that turned out to be a good thing. Had she done so, her own shortcomings would be apparent. Had she gone next door to meet her neighbor she could have learned two important things – the clothes were clean, and her window wasn’t. Would have changed the outcome, wouldn’t it?
After that heart cleaning, David also made another request – then made a commitment:
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (Psalms 51:12-13 KJV)