Posts Tagged 'self-examination'

Judging others

JESUS SPEAKING               

                “Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye” (Mathew 7: 1-3.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS   

                Of all the sins one can possibly commit, hypocrisy is often the most offensive. Jesus embraced repenting murderers, rapists, and prostitutes; yet he openly loathed unrepentant religious hypocrites.  Hypocrisy occurs when an individual judges or evaluates another person based on standards that they themselves are incapable of achieving.  Practicing hypocrisy is dangerous because God judges his followers based upon the very same principles they use to judge others.  If we outwardly chastise adulterers, yet secretly commit adultery, we are condemning ourselves.  Jesus warned his disciples that such unrighteous judgments served only to separate them from God.  Before we judge anyone, we must make absolutely certain that we have been victorious over the same sins that have caused many others to fail.

               Nearly 2400 years ago, a man named Haman made an attempt to execute every Jew living within the boundaries of the Persian Empire.  He hated the Hebrews and believed they were troublemakers who deserved to die.  Haman was a high ranking official in the court of Artexerxes the 2nd (King of Persia.)  He eventually convinced the King to exterminate the Jews; which would have included Haman’s mortal Hebrew enemy, Mordicai (another high ranking official who showed distain for Haman.)  Mordicai had graciously adopted his orphan cousin Esther, who grew in to one of the most beautiful women in all of Persia. The king became enamored with Esther and married her; not knowing that she was a Jew.  As the day approached for the extermination, Haman joyfully built a scaffold fifty feet high near his home, from which he planned to hang Mordicai.  However, just before the mass murder was carried out, Esther came forward and revealed to the king that she was in fact a Jew.  She begged him to end the genocidal plan. He compassionately agreed and her people were spared.  The king was also made aware of Haman’s treachery.  In a cruel twist of fate, the king ordered Haman to be hung from the very gallows he himself had constructed to kill Mordicai.  The judgment he had so eagerly reserved for another person, had been visited upon him and his entire household. 

                Some, like Haman build scaffolds with which to hang others.  Many are often hypocrites who rightly incur the wrath of God; they are condemned by the very judgments they use to condemn others.  As Christians, we must examine ourselves daily; and we must ask God to search our hearts and minds; if we find that the sins of others cause us to experience anger and resentment, then we must ask the question, “Am I guilty of any similar sins?”  If the answer is yes, then we need to change; we need to abandon hypocrisy and embrace a right relationship with God.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we are unworthy servants; we are sinners who don’t deserve Your forgiveness; and yet we thank You that we have received it.  Search our hearts; if You find hypocrisy, please reveal it to us; correct us if we have been judging others unjustly.  Take away our sinful resentments, that we might be more effective at reaching the lost. Please continue filling our hearts with gratitude, sincerity, and humility.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Self-examination

JESUS SPEAKING

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye?  Hypocrite!  First Remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (Luke 6: 41 – 42.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Seeing fault in others is far easier than seeing it in ourselves.  Therefore, we judge our fellows, not realizing that we are guilty of similar offenses.  Such ignorance often leads to a misguided but well intentioned form of hypocrisy, by which we mistakenly attempt to help others overcome the sins we ourselves have never been able to conquer.  To succeed in helping others we must first examine our own moral behavior.  As we put our lives under the microscope we become aware of our shortcomings.  Armed with knowledge and aided by God, we can have victory over our sins, and in turn, help others to do the same.

Self-examination has played a rather prominent role in my Christian experience.  Therefore I frequently complete moral inventories.  During my inventories I write down every area of my life that is morally questionable; then, aided by God, I attempt to correct each errant behavior.  Additionally, I attend a men’s accountability group; every Monday we meet to share our moral failures and successes.  If we struggle with some sin, we set it as an accountability; then we ask God to help us achieve our weekly goals.  I have seen much growth in myself and the other men who attend the group.  In my life, self-examination has led to change, and change has enabled me to help others to overcome similar difficulties.

When we trust in God and examine our own shortcomings we experience a miraculous transformation.  If you have never done a moral inventory, sit down and take stock of your life; where are you succeeding; where are you failing.  With much prayer and an honest self-appraisal you too can have victory over your sins.  As you become more like Jesus Christ, you will be better able to help others to do the same.

“Lord Heavenly Father, make us aware of our shortcomings, and give us the power to overcome them (that we might be more like Your Son Jesus Christ.)  As we change, may we help others to achieve victory over their sins, that they too, might come to worship You in sincerity and truth.  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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