Have you ever lost something only to find it in the most obvious place? You wonder why you didn’t see it all along. On Saturday we talked about the dreadfulness of sin. Paul goes on to list those sins. Sin is obvious to everyone except sometimes the one committing it. Jesus had strong words for people who are able to so readily see others’ sins and somehow miss their own.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Notice the comparison. Our own sin is a log, our brother’s (or sister’s) a speck. And we somehow think God has given us surgical tools with which to remove the speck in our brother’s eye without ever addressing the log in our own. I’m convinced the reason we become hypocrites (Jesus’ word not mine!) is that we have created levels of sin. As a result, as long as we’re not doing what someone else is doing, whatever we’re doing can be blinding, but it’s okay. Consider this list from Galatians 5. Does it surprise you that these things are all listed together?
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.Galatians 5:19–21 (ESV)
It seems that these sins fall largely into four categories: sexual sins, idolatry, relational sins and addictions. They’re all sin. They all separate us from God. When you gossip about the person who committed adultery, you’re entering their playing field, though you would definitely say they have the log in their eye and you only have a speck. When your work becomes your god, you somehow are able to look at someone whose alcohol had become their god and see them as a bigger sinner than you.
God’s word is sure. Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. What things? Lose their temper. Create dissension. Sleep with another man’s wife. Drink excessively. Live in jealousy.
I know these are tough words for a Monday, but they are also gracious words. The more clearly I see my own sin, the less obvious will the sins of others be. Perhaps this prayer of repentance is where you need to begin:
Father, I have sinned by ____________________________. I am so sorry. I have seen the sins of others, even judged them as being worse than me, when in reality I have the same sin nature, struggle as they struggle and fail too. Forgive me for seeing the speck in _______________________’s eye while missing the beam in my own eye. Lord, graciously reveal the beam I can’t see and then I’ll approach my brother or sister seeing their sin as only a speck compared to my own sinfulness. After all, Jesus you were the only perfect one, yet you took my sin on yourself that I might receive your righteousness. The only reason I can live a life that pleases you is because you lived the perfect life that pleased the Father, and now you live in and through me. Thank you Jesus.
Wonderful message! Praying now for the removal of my log! Thank you.
I needed this today.