“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 unto thy brother, Let me cast out the mote out of thine eye, when yet there is a beam in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:3-5)
I believe this verse means this – a speck is a person with a slight falsity in how they see things, but a plank is a big falsity from evil, so as is commonly thought, we need to examine ourself in our motives before correcting problems in others. We need to not take out our anger and selfishness on others. That is perpetuating evil, which is much worse evil.
I think this verse also contains the truth that to have good perception we have to examine and remove false motives and false ideas in ourself. It is much worse to have false ideas motivated by evil intention. This ‘taking it out on’ others makes it worse, because passing evil into others is a very negative delight. It is not nearly as bad to have false ideas that come from innocence, or from lack of good information, or lack of help from good people. The later is the people with a ‘speck’.
This scripture also means, in generally, that to enter heaven we have to be vastated of the falsities in our beliefs or habits. We have to be vastated of the love of evil things before we can enter heaven. To be vastated means to be cleansed. It means to have evils and falsities removed from us before we can enter heaven. This is a major process that is important to think about, because we can do some of the work now in our life. Vastation takes place in the world of spirits before one eventually goes to heaven or hell. It is a spiritual/psychological process that can be easy – or very hard, intense, and painful. How hard it is depends on how deep and complicated our attachments to evil inclinations and habits, to negative, or evil appetites that we have involved ourself in in life. The angels, under the guidance of the Lord, are sort of master spiritual/psychologists forcing people by various means to face their issues in order to remove them. If they cannot be removed and a person ruling love is determined to be evil, then the good is vastated from in order to go to hell.
Along these lines, in life, I have found a person can only grow in wisdom and inner knowledge of the Word and spiritual things to the degree they are willing and able to examine themself and grow in life. Lots of people want to be wise and knowledgable about the Word from ambition, and in their own mind think they are, but are really not, because they unwilling to do the work of self-growth and transformation. Our growth in understanding the wisdom of the Word only truly grows to the degree we are willing to keep pace in our own self-growth, acknowledging short comings and sin in life, and being willing to humble ourself to the Lord. It is a work of transformation.