Monday, February 20, 2017
OF SPECKS AND BEAMS - SEEING SIN IN OTHERS
One of the most mishandled aspects of church life is dealing with sin in the camp. Sin is either ignored and allowed to fester or it is hastily and harshly confronted. Sin ignored can lead to spiritual irrelevancy as seen in many mainstream denominations which have chosen the liberal path of "tolerance". Sin dealt with harshly or hastily often leads to legalistic self righteousness which can strangle the message of love, grace and redemption found at the cross. Ignoring sin and legalistic campaigns against sin are two sides of the same coin, a coin that renders the Gospel powerless. Scripture gives very clear guidelines when it comes to dealing with sin in the church, and, as in every case when believers stray from the clear dictates of God's word, ignoring God's instruction leads to destruction.
Mat 7:1-5 "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see 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,' when there is the log 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.
Most everyone is familiar with Jesus' teaching on specks and beams when it comes to addressing sin. Jesus gave this example for a very specific reason, not everything perceived as sin in a person's life is sin. Sin in one person's life can often lead to perceiving sin in others. If a man is a liar, he may assume everyone else is a liar as well. If am woman is a thief, she may assume everyone around her is a thief also. Perceiving sin in others will affect interaction. Distrust will always hinder intimacy and healthy relationship building.
Jesus was a carpenter, by trade, therefore, the concept of specks of sawdust and wooden beams or logs would have been very familiar to Him. Jesus knew sin in a person's life could skew perception of others, for this reason, Jesus made it clear, sin must be dealt with personally before it could be dealt with corporately. This is a very important lesson for the modern church, as we often excuse sin in our own lives while holding others to a higher standard than which we hold ourselves. If I am torn up with sin, how can I accurately discern sin in the life of another?