The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”” …(Mk 2:24).
I remember going on a prayer walk years ago and thinking, “My sin isn’t all that bad, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on it”……
One of the most dangerous places a believer can be in is a place of spiritual blindness. A blindness to their own struggle with sin, keeping them unaware of their own personal need for the cross of Christ on a daily basis.
It is easy to point out the sin problems we see in others. However, what we should be doing is pointing the finger back at our-self. I have sat in sermons, thinking, I wish so and so were here, they really need to hear this sermon. I have thought long and hard about the sin of others but have been guilty of spending little time doing self-reflection on my own.
At the heart of all of this is self-righteousness rooted in pride. It is an attitude that puts us in a holier position than those we can only hope will become as pious as us.
I have even been as foolish to think it was my role to play the Holy Spirit in someone’s life. If I just keep telling them how they are in sin, then they’ll see the need to change. This type of attitude, without person humility over our own sins puts us at odds with the one we’re trying to “fix.” The best kind of attitude in approaching another is not out of an attitude of, “here let ME, the pious one, help you,” but, “I am broken too, lets journey together in our own personal struggles against sin with the Lord Jesus.”
There is nothing in all the world that will turn someone away from getting to know Christ then a self-righteous Christian who is unaware of their own personal brokenness. Whenever we feel the need to blast sin in others, but not be as upfront and honest about our own, we have set up a great barrier between us and them.
When we see someone living in sin, listen first, listen some more and if God leads you, then speak. Always listen, always pray and let God do the work. Sometimes we’re not always called to “tell them what to do.” I am so guilty of this, because I often forget that God works in the hearts of man. He doesn’t need my words to change anyone’s heart. My prayers are often the most effective tool I have, not my mouth. The only way to know when to speak and when not to, is to walk in the fullness of the Spirit, step by step, weighing out every intention before the Lord.
Lord, sometimes our evangelism stinks. Not because the message isn’t powerful, but because we are prideful. Father, forgive us for our self-righteousness. Forgive me for not extending grace to others. Forgive me when I have felt the need to try and change someone. God, I’m learning how to trust you to do the work. I am stubborn. I am sometimes a slower learner, but I want to live an honest, transparent life before others. I want to prioritize loving others, over feeling the need to speak truth into other’s lives. God, grow me in this area. I want to be like you, in Jesus name, amen.