Less Planking Means More Core Strength

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye 
and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Matthew 7:3

A committed runner, one of the keys to success is strong core strength. I've tried many exercises through the years but few are effective as the plank. By effective I mean likely to render me unable to walk completely upright the next day.

Doing the plank hurts my stomach.

There's another kind of plank I do that doesn't hurt my stomach as much as it does my heart. I find myself nitpicking the ones I most love while ignoring my own obvious flaws.  I find the tiny speck of sawdust in their life but totally ignore the gargantuan plank extending from my own. It's like a bad scene from a low budget remake of Pinocchio.

This plank maneveur is utterly useless and truly destructive to me. I need three body parts to align before I see clearly to remove my big old plank.

My Mind - Who's in my thoughts?

Have you ever listened to a sermon and thought to yourself I sure wish _________ could hear this? That is my early warning signal my heart's focus has wandered from home base. When I read scripture, pray or hear wisdom from others it is my heart that should be penetrated. Believe me, there is plenty of plank extending from my heart for the Holy Spirit to walk on. 

When I let God walk around in my mind, He opens the door to introspection.

My Mouth - What am I talking about?

Grumbling and complaining are the shortest path to hypercritical. As I measure the scales of fairness and equality, the weight tips toward negativity. My words drowned out the voice of God and soon the only thoughts I'm hearing are my own.

When I stop talking and start listening, He gently redirects my focus.

My Ears - Who am I listening to?

We girls can hop on the "My Bad Husband" or "My Horrible Kids" bandwagon with a speed that makes a cheetah look slothful. Not only do I need to drown out my own gloomy thoughts, I need to be careful what outside words I allow to pierce my heart. 

When I tune my ears to Him, I find my heart lilting toward praise.

The plank hurts. It hurts my relationship with God and my relationships with other. So the next time I lay down I want to make sure I'm laying down my flaws, my rights and taking up the core strength of servanthood.

Turns out when it comes to my soul, less planking means more core strength.

What flaw is easiest for you to see in others? How could you shift your focus inward instead?


  1. Good morning, Shannon,

    Fun new analogy, thank you. And god encouragement for me to do both types of planks more often.

    have a great Wednesday.

    Jennifer Dougan

    1. lol - after four kids I definitely need to do both kinds more often...

  2. Hi Shannon, Ooooh, very good. I love the analogy. Less planking is the goal. Great post my friend
    God bless

    1. For sure. Now whenever I do those other kinds of planks I'll have something godly to meditate on and help me pass the time!

  3. Shannon you are so right about the nitpicking. Wow I need to really watch what comes out of my mouth. It is so easy to criticize my beautiful boys but hard to undo the damage that does to their hearts.

    Thank YOU!

  4. Morning from Maine Shannon girl! I loved this post! First of all, I had forgotten about this core exercise, will be incorporating this again. :) AND, the spiritual application is so strong. As I observe my own mind and the mind of Christ through His Word... I always see symptoms, cramps, lack of stretching before I run off doing my own thing. Thank you for blessing me today. Go with God girl! ~ Love, Amy

  5. Happy Sunday, my sweet friend. Love the picture of your plank! I really don't like doing those either. Haha! I love your thoughts on removing the plank from our own lives. It's kind of like the Facebook post I saw the other day...something about..."I can't believe I just disciplined my child for behaving the way I do." Those aren't the exact words, but you get my drift. That's what I struggle with. I see so much of myself in my own children sometimes and then I ask them to change their behavior. The real solution is for me to change mine first. :)


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