Correcting Others


                “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” (Mathew 7: 3-5.)


                Critiquing others is a natural and effortless endeavor.  It is human nature to overvalue ourselves, by devaluing others.  There is no better way to feed pride than to look at the faults and shortcomings of those around us (Most people, whether consciously or unconsciously, critique and compare themselves to others daily.)  Some become delusional in this regard, and begin to pick at others; they correct others to avoid facing the difficulties within themselves (focusing on the sins of others, allows them to maintain a positive opinion of themselves.)  Jesus warned his disciples to avoid this form of hypocrisy.  A disciple may humbly point out sin in another person’s life, only when they have had victory over that sin in their own life.  Correcting someone else in any other way is very dangerous indeed; because God, in turn, inspects and corrects the life of the disciple in exactly the same manner and with exactly the same standard as they used to inspect and correct another.

                In 1986, a very well known radio and television minister became aware that a fellow Pastor was guilty of carrying on numerous affairs.  He went public with the information and his friend was removed from his position within the church and publicly humiliated.  Unfortunately, this pastor, who had been more than willing to expose the faults of his colleague, became embroiled in a far more insidious scandal just two years later.  In 1988 he was caught with a prostitute (he had been meeting with her for some time; in an interview she stated, “He was a regular customer”); filled with tears, this minister went on television and confessed his sins to the world, to his congregation, and to his family.  He pleaded and begged for forgiveness.  Despite breaking with his denomination when they claimed ‘he was not truly repentant,’ he continued on in ministry.  In 1991, he was stopped by police for driving on the wrong side of the road, and they found the prostitute he had just picked up sitting in his passenger’s seat.  This time, instead of admitting his fault, he lashed out and proclaimed, “The Lord told me, it’s flat none of your business.”  He later stepped down for a period of time.  This minister was guilty of trying to correct the sexual sins of another, before cleaning up his own sexually deviant lifestyle.  In turn, God judged him according to the standard by which he judged his colleague.

                As believer’s today, self-examination is critical; it is the precursor to effectively helping others.  We must ‘face the demons’ in our own lives, and be victorious over them before we can help others to overcome similar difficulties.  We must be extremely cautious before we attempt to lovingly correct others; for if we judge and correct others, the same judgment and correction will be measured back to us by God.  Have you carefully studied your own life?  Are you guilty of using the faults of others to feel better about yourself?  Are you trying to correct others in areas you yourself need correction?  Take time daily to evaluate yourself; write down behaviors that are in opposition to the will of God.  Record the sins that plague you; pray for deliverance and be diligent in your efforts to repent.  You will fight many battles, but with God’s help, you will be a conqueror.  With each new victory, God will use you as a light to guide others who desire victory over their own sins.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask that You protect us from the sin of hypocrisy.  May we refrain from measuring others in prideful ways; may we not correct others when we ourselves need correction.  Help us in our battles and reveal areas of sin in our lives.  Lord, if there are any opportunities to help others who struggle with the sins we have conquered by Your power, we pray that You would give us opportunities to speak to them and to help them to be victorious as well.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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