“And why behold you the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?” – Matthew 7:3
During my long work commute a while back, I had a mustang whip past me going who knows how fast. Of course I immediately started chewing them out, even though they couldn’t hear me. But then, just a few miles down the road, I got behind a big semi doing about 20 under the speed limit in a no passing zone. After about 10 minutes of getting more and more frustrated, as soon as a passing zone opened up, I floored it and zoomed around the semi. (Please note that I had a tiny Hyundai Accent and “flooring it” consists of kicking the hamster wheel just a bit harder.) Later on, as if the Holy Spirit was convicting me, the thought came into my head of, “I wonder what words that semi driver is cursing me with right now.”
I found out a long time ago what a hypocrite is. Unfortunately, I can look into the mirror and see one staring back at me. I don’t want to be one, but here I am. I get annoyed at people making bad choices, but then I turn around and make some myself. I find myself being inconsiderate to other peoples’ feelings when those people aren’t considerate themselves. I get irritated with people who want the world to cater to them, then I wonder why the world isn’t going exactly my way.
The fact is that, like the Bible says, we focus on the speck in someone else’s eye when we can’t see the beam or plank in our own eye. It’s so easy to point out someone else’s sins, but we seem to go blind to our own. We hold others to higher standards of what a person and especially what a Christian needs to be, but then we too fall short of that standard. The simple truth is that, just as in Romans 3:10, “There are none righteous, no, not one.” And again in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That’s everybody. ALL have sinned. Nobody is purely good except Christ Himself and that’s why we need Him.
We are called to be holy people and set apart for the good works of the Lord, but how can we do that if we sin all the time? We will never completely stop sinning, but the point is to try to stop. To repent means to change your mind. If you make the conscious decision to try to refrain from evil, you will become more aware of your own faults and will make an effort to not do them. You are human though and you will have your good and bad moments. Don’t let that discourage you too much. It happens to the best of us, but once again, the point is to keep trying.
After each attempt at Christlikeness, there will be a failure, but each time you try you will ‘fail better.’ You aren’t going to be perfect until you get to Heaven, but the point is to try. Each one of us has the capability to become like Christ and don’t stop trying. Just know that you aren’t there yet and don’t get down on yourself like you are. You aren’t where Christ is just yet, but you are on the way.
I like the old song that says, “I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.” In short, each one of us is a sinner and knows something about what other people are going through. If you’ve struggled with alcoholism or drugs, you have a ‘proof of purchase’ that can help connect you with other people who need help. Not only can you help others, but frankly, you are obligated to help others. Same goes for just about any sin. That’s why God kept you around and pulled you through your ordeal, to be a faithful witness to others about God’s love and grace.
So don’t be too harsh on yourself or other people for various shortcomings, but by the same token, don’t just look upon sin and be OK with it either. See things through the eyes of Jesus and he will help you and others to see sin for what it is. One day, we all will be better for it.
God’s blessings to you.