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by Jacob Ninan
If two of our children have been quarreling, and we ask one of them, "What happened?", the answer will usually be, "He/she did this to me." And if we ask, "Tell me what you did", the reply will usually be, "I did nothing", or "I just did this, and then he did that ...", etc.
That is human nature.
It is so difficult for us to see our own faults and to judge only ourselves. And if we who have heard about 'judging ourselves', and have understood it, still do not judge only ourselves consistently, then what can be the condition of those have never even heard this message? Ultimately, we have to give an account to God only of ourselves (Ro.14:12). This means that we will never have to tell God what others did to us. He knows all that already. He will only say, "Tell me what you did."
When we have problems with other people, it is so easy to think about the account they have to give to God, that we miss the log that is in our own eyes (Mt.7:1-5). But those who have really understood to judge themselves rightly are truly blessed. They not only get more and more sanctified, but they also obtain the ability to help other believers to remove specks from their eyes.
Someone has said that one of the most difficult things in the world is to see one's own mistake.
We will all acknowledge that we have many faults, and that we do many things imperfectly. We may even want to judge ourselves. But even with such a desire, we still continue to see only the faults of others.
Those who merely go through a ritual of 'judging themselves' usually go away imagining that they have a 'clear conscience'. But they are still not any more sanctified than before.
But others who have understood that there is nothing good in their flesh do not go away from God's presence so quickly or so easily. They seek God who alone can give them light. When they finally see themselves in God's light, they are purified so much that it is like the freshness one feels after having a bath.
The Pharisees did all their works to be seen by men (Mt.23:5). In other words, they examined themselves carefully to see if there was anything in their lives that others could see as wrong. They finally came to a life that was as beautiful as a polished marble tomb, on the outside! But we are called to live before God's face, who sees all our secret thoughts, motives, intentions and attitudes (He.4:12,13). It is there in our inner lives, that we are to be sanctified. We are not to be satisfied merely with having a clear conscience - because we know that the Lord who has eyes like a flame of fire can see things within us that we cannot see ourselves (1Co.4:4).
So we go before Him and acknowledge that we know only in part. And then He gives us more light on ourselves. One clear mark of those who have learned to judge themselves is that they keep becoming smaller and smaller in their own eyes, even though their actual life is becoming better and better. They also find it easier to bear with the others and forgive them because they know how much evil dwells in their own flesh.
It is written that Jesus Himself knew what was 'in man'. He knew this because as a man He had received much light on His own flesh in 30 years (Jn.2:25).
As a result, even though He was blameless and spotless, He was so weak in Himself that He could do nothing from His own initiative (Jn.5:13). He had to pray with loud crying and tears for help (He.5:7). He needed others to pray with Him (Mt.26:38), and He never judged the others at any time (Jn.8:15).
May we learn to walk this blessed way all our life!
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