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So, the fad last year was this little phenomenon called “PLANKING”.  In case you were out of touch with reality and missed it, let me explain to you what PLANKING is (or was):   PLANKING is were you find a spot – any spot, the more ridiculous the better – and lay flat on your belly projecting your legs straight behind you and extending your arms snuggled straight and tight against the trunk of your body.  Next, have someone take a picture of you ‘belly down’ to showcase your PLANKING abilities.  Lastly, the PLANKING is made complete when you post a picture of yourself lying nose down onto your favorite social networking site, or sites – as is the case for many of us.  Viola!  There you have it.  In three simple steps, you can become a PLANKING aficionado.

As with all fads, PLANKING has come and gone.  The general population quickly became bored with PLANKING and moved on to a new oddity called “owling”.  Owling was very short lived and never gained the momentum that PLANKING did because just as owling was cresting the wave, Tebowmania hit the main stream and took over the world.  Owling was trumped by “tebowing” as the new craze took over every social networking medium available.

Here we are a year later and the most interesting photo making its way to social networking is an empty chair.  Ah, the wonderful world of fads.

Although PLANKING as we know it in modern terms seems to have come and gone, there is a form of PLANKING that is still holding its own.  Still a relevant and necessary practice, PLANKING is a misunderstood practice.  With so many opinions swirling around about the right way to PLANK, it is no wonder that people have just given up of PLANKING altogether.  But might I suggest that PLANKING is too important of a practice to just let go of because of confusion.  It is time we understand the importance of PLANKING and begin to PLANK correctly.

To understand the biblical practice of PLANKING, we have to go back to where it all began:

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite!  First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Jesus.  ((see Matthew 7:3-5))

PLANKING is indeed a biblical practice – one that has NOT come and gone but is as pertinent today as it was when it began.  Exactly what is PLANKING and what is the proper way to do it?  Just as with social network PLANKING, biblical PLANKING is done in three easy (or not so easy) steps:

1.  Find the PLANK in your own life.

A “PLANK” is simply something in your life that does not measure up to the Word of God – some kind of sin issue that prevents you from living up to your full potential as a Christian – and everyone has one.  It can be bitterness, unforgiveness, strife, adultery, covetness, lying, etc.  Anything in your life that is below the standard that God has for you is your PLANK.

2.  Remove the PLANK from your life.

It is not enough to recognize the existence of a PLANK in your life, you must also be diligent to work with the Holy Spirit to remove it.  Ignoring a PLANK is dangerous.  A PLANK not only hurts you, but it also hurts everyone you try to get close to.  Imagine with me for a moment that you are walking around with a literal piece of wood sticking out of your eye.  Every time you try to get near other people you are going to hit them with your piece of wood, knocking them around and bruising them.  So it is in the spirit.  Offensive PLANKS that stick out from our lives wound those around us.  We have no choice; we have to remove them!

**note:  Jesus said to remove your own PLANK.  He could remove it for us, but it is our job to remove it and let it go.  Repenting of sin is the only way to remove a PLANK.**

3.  Help your neighbor remove their PLANK.

It has become recent opinion that we have no business looking at or trying to remove PLANKS (sin) from anyone’s life but our own.  A wrong interpretation and teaching of Matthew chapter seven has left the idea that it is none of our business what is happening in another’s life.  According to this popular teaching, we are supposed to just leave everyone else alone and concentration on ourselves in our own little bubble in our own little corner of the world.  However, closer examination of the scripture proves otherwise.  Jesus said, “First remove the plank from your own eye, AND THEN you will see clearly to remove the speck FROM YOUR BROTHER’S EYE.”  (Matt 7:5).  Paul echoed that sentiment when, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he said, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)  Helping others remove their PLANKS is a huge part of true Christianity.  However, we must remember that we canNOT help them until we have first rid ourselves of the PLANKS that will wound them as we get closer to them.

**note:  Not every PLANK in our own lives has to be removed before we can begin helping others with their PLANKS.  If that were the case, no one would ever be helped.  We do not have to wait for our own perfection.  However, the PLANK we have that is the exact same as the speck our brother is dealing with has to be dealt with.  If not, therein lies the hypocrisy.**

Biblical PLANKING is not as difficult to do as some would make it out to be.  Understanding the three easy steps can turn anyone into a successful PLANKER.  PLANKING must be an integral part of every believer’s life.  It is through PLANKING that we can change the world – change that begins with the man in the mirror.  Have you yet become a PLANKER?!