Jeremiah Burroughs on Church Conflict:
Self causes men not to see their own evils, or if they do, to indulge themselves in them; but to be quick-sighted and severe in the discovering and opposing those evils that are in others, and this causes many breaches and fallings out. We may apply that of the apostle, 1 Cor. 13, “Love covereth a multitude of faults,” to self-love.
Selfish men see but little evil in themselves—all is ever well with them, whatever others do; and the more they indulge themselves, the more severe they are to others; but Christ would have the quite contrary, severity to ourselves, but indulgence to others; those that are so, are the most peaceable men. Matt. 18:8: “If thy hand or foot offend thee, pluck them off, and cast them from thee; or if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee.”
We must deal severely with ourselves in those things that are as near and as dear to us as our hands and eyes; but verse 15, when Christ gives orders how we are to deal with our brethren, he then requires more moderation: “If thy brother offend thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone;” if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, and see what thou canst do with him in that way; yea, and after that, tell the church; not presently cut him off, and cast him away, as you must do when your hand or eye offends you.
If men have any indulgence, let it be toward their brethren; if they have any severity, let them exercise that toward themselves. Pliny says of himself: “That he so passed by other men’s offences, as if himself were the greatest offender, and he was so severe against himself, as if he meant to pardon none.” If it were so with us, we should live at more peace one with another than we do.