Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Sin vs Another’s

It was a fairly short list of sins, and all of them came from the Bible. It was similar to, but not exactly like, Paul’s listing works of the flesh:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

Don’t find your favorite listed? If not, just remember “and such like.” This was a short list. Did you come up with some names that matched easily with one or more items on that list? Why?

No, I mean “Why are you looking at other people’s sins?”

It wasn’t for other people the Psalmist wrote:

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalms 51:10-12 KJV)

Jesus taught that our own cleansing came first, too:

Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. (Luke 6:42 KJV)

My concern is not with another’s viewpoint, but whether my own actions reflect my beliefs. My concern is not how another stands before God, but how I stand and answer – for certain, one day I will:

A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matthew 12:35-37 KJV)

I cannot be condemned before Christ by the words of another, but my own shortcomings will be evident, and it’s those shortcomings that should concern me – not another’s.

How should I look upon that other person? With the same love God holds for His creation:

We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4:19-21 KJV)

I am not responsible for another’s sins – but I am responsible for loving that person with the same love God does. In another book, John tells us how Jesus described that love:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

If we allow that love for ourselves, we must allow that love from ourselves, and allow it to continue.

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