The Christian process of sanctification, being drawn by God from darkness to brilliance, is a life journey. Yet far too frequently do we judge those who are lagging behind, or who struggle with the same thing year after year. We tend to condemn them more oft than we do forgive them.
Therein lays the puzzle. God has forgiven them yet we continue to pronounce and enforce our own Christian judgement upon them. So…, God may have forgiven them, but we do not? Well, not yet at least. They need to prove themselves worthy of our approval, not just God’s; then maybe we might consideration restoration.
Think of the innocence of a young child—so pure and blameless; so simple in their outlook on life; impressionable, formative in their earliest days. So what impressions do they have of our Christian lives? Do we come across as Holy, Righteous, completely Moral and Upright? I doubt it; but that is the image we want our children to aspire to. Adult Christians can more easily hide their true selves.
The problem with that is that we often fake our righteousness, our faithfulness to the cause of Christ. Want proof? Easy. What percentage of your income do you tithe? Have you been completely pure in your devotion to your husband, your wife? Ever lust? Or maybe you simply judge those who don’t measure up to your standard of outward Christian faith. Quietly, of course. Until there comes a time when you just cannot hold back from sharing something you saw on Facebook or twitter about so&so. Bless your heart!
Our children are certainly partly innocent. In contrast, we are partly guilty. This is not meant to be a condemnation— rather, it is an obvious fact of growing toward maturity in Christ. In the end we must all rely on Christ’s grace and mercy alone.
So the next time you are in a sharing mode, think again about your own stance before the Throne of Grace. Recall that you are still partly guilty yourself. You are, like me, a work in process. Seeking that great day when you find your own sin disgusting.
One finger pointing out the sin in another’s life: three fingers pointing back toward yourself. Remember?
5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
For what it’s worth,
(PS, And if you need a reminder, here’s some wisdom from a toddler. )