I saw written somewhere that “Until we consider our own sin to be greater than the sins of our brother we will never truly understand crucifying the flesh. For until we crucify the flesh, our pride sets ourselves above our brother.”
When I first read that, I had to scratch my head and think about it some: “Until we consider our own sin to be greater than the sins of our brother’s . . .” Hmm, does that means that before I start judging someone I meet or see on the street, I better stop and consider my own failures?
Well, I think that is only part of it. Not only are to consider our own failures and weaknesses, we have to consider them to be greater failures and weaknesses than those of the other person’s. Don’t pull out your scale and compare the weight of your errors, because if you do that, I guarantee the scale will lean more in your favor! No, we are not to compare our sins to their sins, but to look at our own sins and to consider, to view or to borrow a definition from the Free Dictionary, “to think or deem; or to regard” them as being greater! Oh!
Oh, don’t be too surprised. Isn’t that how Paul viewed things? He stated that he saw himself as the “chief of sinners.” Take a look:
How true it is, and how I long that everyone should know that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — and I was the greatest of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as an example to show everyone how patient he is with even the worst sinners, so that others will realize that they, too, can have everlasting life. Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the King of the ages, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God, and full of wisdom. Amen (I Timothy 1:14-17)
Wow! You mean, he was a worse sinner than everyone else? Come on, let’s be reasonable. There are some pretty evil people in the world and we are supposed to see ourselves as worse than them? Well, let’s look at what he wrote in his letter to the Church in Philippi:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been perfected, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14)
You see, Paul never wanted to think of himself as to having “laid hold of it [being perfected],” but he continually pressed on towards Christ. Any time we consider our brother’s (or for you married folks out there, our spouse’s) sin to be greater than our own, we have exalted ourselves above them through our pride. And as Justin Wilson would say, “I ‘gar-on-tee!‘” you will never possess the mind and heart of our Savior (and it will really mess up your marriages, as well)!
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add youm—a to the list: Mail List)
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