“If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. … How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor” (Matthew 7:1-5, The Message).
God, I know I’m sinful, but . . .
You should really see that guy who voted for Biden last week.
You should take a look at that dude with all the Trump 2020 flags in his yard.
You should really look into those people not wearing masks.
You should pay more attention to that girl with that glass of wine in her hand seemingly all the time.
You really need to judge those people who don’t believe in a literal 7-day creation . . .
And on and on it goes.
It’s easy for me to justify myself when I compare my sins with those who sin worse than I do. And who decides which sin is worse? Me, of course.
It’s easy for me to forget how much I’ve been forgiven and how much grace it took to cover over my sins and scars and failures because my sins don’t show like other people’s do.
I may not look as broken as the next guy, but I am. Sin is sin in the eyes of God and every sin is an act of rebellion against God.
When I point the finger at anyone else, I make myself instead of God the standard of right living. I say that I know more than God who deserves mercy and who does not.
Remember, it wasn’t the man who fared better in comparison with the tax collector who was justified before God. It was the tax collector who KNEW he couldn’t point the finger at anyone else but himself who went home forgiven.
The prayer we all need right now is still, “Lord, have mercy on ME, a sinner.”