You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
I kept this verse separate from verses 3 and 4, because I wanted to talk about the word hypocrite.
In the Bible, the word hypocrite is a transliterated greek word, which refers to an actor. So if you called someone a hypocrite, you were in essence calling them actors.
If you take this into consideration when you read this passage, then it would say, "you actor, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
Just imagine this, you go to the eye doctor, because you have something stuck in your eye. The doctor comes out with a stick in his eye. Aside from the fact that this would be gross and weird, you would probably say, "whoa! Doctor, umm... are you alright?"
Doctor: "Sure, I'm fine, now let me take a look at this..."
You: "Wait a minute doc, you have a huge stick in your eye!"
Doctor: "No I don't."
You: "Yes you do."
Doctor: "I don't know what you are talking about."
You: "What do you mean? How can you not tell that there is a stick in your eye?!?"
Obviously this wouldn't work. But just consider how many time we try to go through our lives with those little, secret sins that we won't tell anyone about (getting the plank out), but we will go through our "public" life acting like there is nothing wrong. Almost to the point of believing the act ourselves.
If you have something in your life today, I would like to encourage you to get the plank out. Stop being an actor. Being real can be painful and humbling, but its worth it.
If you are not sure about telling someone else, but still would like to tell someone, then e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.