“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.” Mt. 7:3-5
One of the most dangerous things I ever did for years on end was to allow my heart, words, attitude, and actions to be so filled with pride, judgment, hatred, hurt, bitterness, and condemnation that I couldn’t see past my finger continually pointing at other people’s sins. This was especially true when it came to people who had hurt me in one way or another. I was so exceedingly focused on their sins that I couldn’t see my own! What was so dangerous about this, and why do I share this message with you?
The danger was two-fold. First, because I was so focused on their sins and could not see my own, I was blind to the fact I needed to repent before God, be transformed by Him, and ask people to forgive me for ways in which I hurt them including the very people I was so pridefully judging for their sins. I was unwilling and unable to be changed by God because of my extreme focus on others’ wrongdoing!
Second, because I was so consumed with judging and condemning others for their sins, my heart, words, and actions were filled with my own wickedness rather than with the love, mercy, peace, humility, and grace of Christ I needed to love, forgive, pray for, and help the people I was judging. I was unable to serve the Lord in this, and unable to love and serve others in His name. I was so clogged up with my sins, in fact, I was unable to love and serve anyone at all in any kind of significant way.
Why am I sharing this with you? Why are you reading this? If I’m not careful, I can fall right back into this and need to repent all over again. None of us is immune to this. In fact, some of us may be even more prone to it than others. Some of us, in fact, may be right where I was. So wrapped up in pointing the finger that we are in that dangerous place I once was. Can you relate to any of this? Do you need to repent for criticizing, judging, pridefully condemning, lashing out at, holding bitterness and hatred toward, scoffing at, ridiculing, looking down upon, etc., anyone because of their sins? Are you so focused on someone else’s sins you refuse to look at and repent from your own? Are you so wrapped up in others’ sins that you are of no use to the Lord, that you are unable to love and serve Him and others in His name in any kind of significant way anyway?
Repent, then, repent! And turn to the Lord with all your heart! Stop pointing the finger, and start letting the Spirit of God in line with God’s Word lead the way forth! In Christ’s love! Stop pointing the finger! Reach out your hand with Christ’s mercy!