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Identifying the Sins of Others. 526. Apr 4, 2024

Updated: Apr 5


Romans 3:23.  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.


The heading describes the easiest job in the world—finding fault, not with ourselves but with others. It's lazy Christianity, and we've all been guilty at some time. 

Often, with the best intentions of helping others, we find ourselves in the paradoxical position of pointing out their faults. It's as if the Lord has given us an innate ability to do so.

We're just helping them fulfil Jesus' words in Matthew 5:48: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. If only people would listen to us, they would be perfect. If they hung on our every word, we could fast-track their progress from children to young men and women to wise old believers. They would overcome everything in their lives and be like angels—if only they would listen. This potential for growth and improvement is within reach if we focus on the right things.

Scripture calls us to be diligent in excavating life's faults and sins. However, most of them are meant to be our own.  If we were all as diligent in identifying our own faults and sins and repenting of them as we are in revealing those of other people, we would be perfect! This struggle of self-reflection is not unique to you but a shared experience among believers.

I know two people who have been friends for many years. That is, until recently. I'll call them Bob and Pete. They are both ordinary men, nothing too fancy or too shabby. Pete's lived in the same house for forty years. It's a pleasant place, well maintained but sometimes a little overgrown. When I drop in, I always tell him how great the place looks, and it does. The overgrowth seems to suit the well-established native trees and shrubbery. I can see where Pete has worked on his house and garden, and I enjoy walking around listening to him proudly talk about what he's done and what he will do next. He's a man with a plan, and he's slowly executing it as he goes. 

A little while back, Pete confided in me about how he feels when Bob visits. Bob always sees and mentions what Pete hasn't done as if it's his duty to keep pointing it out on visits. "If I were you, I'd do this and that..." "Why don't you do this? It's the same as when I visited last time".

Pete said that he's sick of Bob coming around. The friendship is strained because of Bob's eyesight. Often, we have the same set of eyes, don't we? 

Most of us have done some well-intentioned 'coaching' at some time. Hopefully, it's out of our system by now. We know ourselves how difficult it is to change direction. It's easy to do in a yacht without missing so much as a beat. However, when it comes to transposing our bad character for godly stuff, we quickly discover some truths about turning the rudder of our own inadequacies.

Time is better spent looking inward. Had Bob encouraged Pete each time he visited instead of demoralising him, perhaps he would have listened. Maybe Bob could have even dropped by the overalls and some tools to give him a hand, and the mateship could have sailed on into their twilight years, helping each other out. But it hasn't yet.

Life is fairly short. I think the Lord prefers us to look deeper and find people doing something right, then compliment that, rather than taking that axe to their successes. Let's learn how to do that instead.      


Dear Lord, I have been guilty of this obscene trait many times. I know how tough it is to change, so why would I think others would have it easier than I do? Father, help me help them where I can, not with ruinous words but by using motivating statements and actions.

Photo by Andres Siimon

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