We are always more willing to point out someone’s faults and flaws than we are to compliment them or to build them up. We are always ready to pounce on something another person does wrong or not as well as they could do it. I find Christians to be as willing to participate in this attitude and behavior as the unsaved.
We beat others down by focusing on their faults and failures (Matthew 7:3-5). We hammer them to pieces instead of building them up in hope through the gospel, the good news that Jesus died to deliver them from all their sins. Rather than spending our time reminding others of what failures they are, we ought to instead show them grace and mercy.
Matthew 7:3-5 reminds us that the sin we see in others pales in comparison to the level of deception we have about our own sinfulness. In our flesh it is more pleasurable to be inspecting other people and to make ourselves feel better. We would prefer to stand over another person and declare how much better we are in one or two areas rather than point out how they excel over us.
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.Matthew 7:3-5
We destroy reputations and friendships by spreading gossip about each other, and the gossip is often related to some aspect of their character that we believe we have nailed down already.
A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends.Proverbs 16:28
Oh, how true this is! If you have ever been on the receiving end of gossip, it is one of the most destructive and painful things to bear. We gossip about others because we believe that we have a right to share information about other people. We gossip because it makes us feel bigger and better than others who are “not in the know.” We gossip because we don’t care if we are hurting other people.
What about nagging? Do you think that might ruin relationships? We harp and rag and bag at our spouse, children, or coworkers because they do not meet our expectations. Have you ever heard a genuine nag? Oh my goodness, she just goes on and on about something and will not let it go! Is it any wonder that Proverbs 27:15 says, “A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike.”
All of these actions of ours will ruin every relationship we have over time if repentance is not earnestly pursued. People simply do not want to be around women who demonstrate these characteristics on a consistent basis! We learn quickly to be very wary of them, and we do not trust them. We know that sharing some information with them is asking for trouble.
How sad that women of God carry on this way! It is time for us to repent, dear Church! It is time for us to live what we say we believe and to stop tolerating these sinful behaviors in each other and in ourselves. When will we become sick enough of our sin to want to change? When will we be grieved enough to want to throw it all away from us, to put it off and leave it in the grave where it belongs?
We know better, yet we keep going back to the crypt to examine that dead old man who lay there. Jesus walked out of that crypt and so have we! We have been made alive in the newness of Jesus Christ! I call on you – live like it today!