"How could HE do that?!" "How could SHE say something like that?!" He, she, they, them, others; it's the Pharisee prayer in another form (rf. Luke 18:9-14). I'm afraid that we do not see our own sinfulness. I'm afraid that we've yet to come to the light and let it expose our deeds. I'm afraid that we are content with keeping our own sin concealed rather than getting it out in the open.
Sometimes I talk like this to people and they look at me with a strange look on their face that seems to say, "Well, maybe that's you, but it's certainly not me." What we have here is a person that has yet to see the depth of their sin and depravity. They've yet to see that "the law of Yahweh is perfect." (Psalm 19:7)
But enough about others, I get caught up in that madness too much; focusing on everyone else and forgetting that I need daily salvation from my sin. I have seen the light of the law. It has shone brightly into my life. As bad as it hurts my pride to admit it, it has cut me deep and exposed me in ways I used to be unaware of.
When I see a person stumble into sin, or even living in sin, I now try not to compare that person to me, or compare me to that person. Sure, sometimes my pride rises up and I do, but I want to be at the place where my heart breaks for them. I've experienced it in my life. I know what it feels like to fall. I know what it feels like to have things that are concealed, revealed. My desire is not to see others condemned, but to see that they get help.
I'm not called to rejoice when I meet an alcoholic or a drug addict. I shouldn't leave thinking, "Whew, I'm glad that's not me." I'm not called to gloat when I see a woman get caught in adultery or a man cheating on his wife. I'm not called to make my self-righteousness feel better by talking about them or laughing about them. I'm called to have a broken heart for them, to pray for them, to weep for them. To hope that the Savior finds them.
I want to teach my children this concept. I want them to be like Yeshua mostly in this regard. To reach out to the lost with a desire to see them found. To help those and talk with those who no one else will touch. I've failed to do this, but I'm trying to correct my failure. I'm trying to instill in my children one of the greater matters of the law: mercy.
I've failed miserably in areas of my life, but in those failings there are people who stand out in my mind. The people who stand out aren't the ones who said, "I told you so," or "You should have listened," or "Why did you have to be so stupid!" No, the people who stand out in my memory are the ones who told me, "It's going to be okay," "I'm here to pray with you," "I'm sorry this happened," "There is hope."
I don't want people who fall to be hammered into the ground even harder. I want to see them picked up and dusted off. I want to see them restored. I want them to feel the love of the Savior.
When I speak this way there are many who want to "remind" me of: "Don't you know that Jesus rebuked people?!" Let me ask you to do something. Go back and read the Gospels. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and every time you see Yeshua rebuking someone make a note of that text and examine WHO He was giving the rebuke to. I've studied this and continue to study. It has opened my eyes. I believe it will open anyone's eyes that is willing to see.
Luke 7:47 - "Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that's why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little."
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.