Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC
“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.
One of the sweetest things I have ever gotten to do is share the gospel with small children. Seeing their face light up and watching the wheels turn as the gospel clicks is just an awesome thing to be a part of! One thing that I try to do my best with when sharing the gospel is making sure that kids have a deep grasp of what sin is, how their sin has affected them personally, and what Jesus did to make it all better. If kids don’t understand that they themselves have sinned then their foundation of faith is shallow. One conversation in particular I was asking a child what sin is. They repeated back to me anything that we think, say, or do that displeases God. This is something that we teach in Kids Worship every Sunday so I was pleased that they grasped it. I then asked the child to give me a few examples of sin. Examples such as hitting, talking back to mom, and lying were mentioned. Then came the tough one, what sin or sins in particular have YOU committed that have brought separation between you and God? The child goes on to tell me a story from that morning. “Miss Jessica, I woke up this morning and my momma told me to get out of bed and get ready in a hurry because we were gonna be late to church. She was yelling and telling us to hurry but I just took my time because I was so tired! Me and my sister started playing with barbies and my momma came into my room and started yelling because we hadn’t put on our shoes and gotten in the car yet. It was so funny seeing my mama so mad we just laughed and laughed. When me and my sister finally got out to the van, mama was locking up the front door and there was a little bit of ice on the steps. When she turned to come down the steps she slipped AND SHE CUSSED AND THAT WAS SIN!” You know, it’s really easy to find the sin in other people. It’s a lot harder to look inward and see the sin in our own lives.
In Matthew Chapter 7 Jesus is preaching through His Sermon on the Mount, a message to believers where Jesus teaches what it means to be a faithful follower of God. Essentially Jesus tells those listening that as a believer our lives should be lived differently. Believers are to live holy lives with a high moral standard that comes from God and His Word. Jesus goes on to call out hypocritical Pharisees that were quick to see the sins of others but unwilling to hold themselves to the same standard of perfection expected of everyone else. The same can be said of Evangelical Christianity in the US today. So often evangelical Christians are characterized by a deep desire to have “Christianity” pervade our culture but not have Christ permeate our being. We can be blind to our own faults and failures but hyper aware of the shortcomings of others around us. It’s easier to deduct that the problem is not in me but out there somewhere. Admitting our own failure is a hard pill to swallow. But the beauty in admitting our own sin makes the gospel that much sweeter. When we can wrap our heads around just how sinful we are, knowing the fact that Jesus died for that sin makes it oh so much sweeter.
What about you? Have you found yourself critical of others while cutting yourself some slack? What is the log in your own eye? What sins are in your life that you haven’t brought to the Father? Admit those today and live in the freedom that is the forgiveness bought by Jesus on the cross!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, forgive me of the sin that puts separation between You and I! Open my eyes to see that sin for what it is. Lord, give me grace and mercy as I see the sins of others. Help me to love and forgive like You! In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever;