“But we are sure that his religious difficulties never resulted in hypocrisy.” Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
This struck me almost as pointedly as the scriptures.
Luke 6:42 NKJV — “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.”
It had been during prayer.
I was talking with the Lord about a past circumstance and suddenly the Lord asked me a question.
Who has hurt you the most?
The truth was clear.
My own sin has caused me the most suffering.
Then, respond to all other hurts with that in mind.
And with this my entire prayer focus turned.
It is so easy to look at another and see their blindness, prejudice, or sin.
To experience the pain of hypocrisy in another and recoil from the sting, bruised and battered.
Yet, the Bible is clear, our own sins are as black as anyone’s.
Humility says, “I’m a sinner, too” and stops talking.
Instead of recoiling, rejecting, or loudly renouncing another’s sin, what of prayer, forgiveness, and honesty?
Can we allow Christ’s love to enlarge our hearts and include those who have sinned against us?
What about a brother or sister?
Can we choose to continue in love, prayer, and encouragement even when the other seems calloused?
Matthew 18:21 NKJV — Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Matthew 18:22 NKJV — Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Can we forgive seventy times seven?
If I have been hurt, I certain I have hurt others.
If Christ forgave me, He will forgive them.
Therefore, my heart must be willing to love, quick to forgive, and honestly humble, for we all stand stained by sin, in desperate need of a Savior.
John 15:12 KJV — This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
It’s a command which takes every fiber of our choice to walk in every day of our lives, but it’s a command.
And He knows what is best for us.
John 15:13-14 NKJV — “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for convicting me of my sin, that I might repent and see others more clearly, not tainted by the past. Lord, please help me to walk daily in this commandment. Please teach me how to be Your friend and how to love as You do. Lord, please help me to see myself clearly, remove the plank from my eye. Lord, I want to be real, honest, and humble, please help me to be. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your patience. May my life reflect Yours, that Your name be glorified. Amen.