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Pointing at others
- Jacob Ninan
Why do we have such a great tendency to focus on the sins and mistakes in others around us? Jesus described this by using the exaggerated example of trying to take out a speck from another person's eyes while having a beam in our own eyes (Mt.7:3)! How is it that we are unable to see the beam when we think we can see every speck in the other's eyes? Jesus said that if we really wanted to help others by taking out their specks, the first thing we needed to do was to take out the beam from our eyes (v.5)! In other words, we can't see clearly at all as long as the beam is still there.
Don't you think that we keep looking at the other's faults because we don't want to see our own? Looking at our faults is painful, especially after we have come to Christ and started telling others about it. As long as we keep looking at other's faults and seek to 'help' them to deal with those faults we feel 'great' about ourselves! In this process we can even be blind to the fact that many times we aren't helping them but finding fault with them or accusing them from a superior attitude.
Perhaps a part of the reason is that we haven't come to accept the truth that we are, each one of us, hopeless sinners. Even after we have come to Christ and our sins have been forgiven, we still carry with us our sinful 'flesh' (not body) which has many lusts and desires that tempt us (Ga.5:24;Jas.1:14). We have to resign ourselves to the fact that as long as we are alive on the earth, we shall be carrying this flesh around, and so we are going to do many things wrong, mostly without knowing it, hopefully, and sometimes even knowingly (Ro.7:18,19). When we get light on (discover) the sins we have done unknowingly, they are still sins that we need to confess and get forgiven (Le.4:2,3). So we are going to have to deal with sin that we keep finding in ourselves.
Ignoring our sins, imagining they didn't happen, justifying ourselves, blaming others, etc., are not going to solve the problem. We need to admit our sins, confess them to God (and to the ones we have sinned against) and receive free forgiveness (1Jn.1:9). We don't have to be scared that if we admit our sins, God is going to be angry with us and reject us, just as parents rejected some of us when we did wrong. If we have had that experience from our parents we can forgive them. But God, our Heavenly Father, has accepted us knowing fully well about our sinfulness (Ro.5:8). He who foresees our future is not shocked when we fall, and His love doesn't come to an end. In fact, He loves it the more frankly and freely we go to Him with our confession and seek for help not to sin the next time.
The whole process of our sanctification depends on us discovering our sins and sinful tendencies, and receiving forgiveness and help to overcome them. The more we keep away from looking at our own faults and acknowledging them, we ensure that we stagnate and possibly backslide, and never get on to becoming spiritual.