Let's Not Focus on What Others Do

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught that we shouldn’t worry about what others do or don’t do. Instead, we should make sure we are doing what is right. In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus shows that we often make a big deal about other peoples’ faults. Meanwhile we often overlook our own faults. He says it’s like trying to get a speck of dust out of our friend’s eye, while we have a huge stick in our own eye. First we should take care of our own problems and faults, before we tell others how to fix theirs.

What kinds of things could he be talking about? We often can see faults in others and not see them in ourselves. It’s easy to spot someone else when they are being selfish, proud, mean, unforgiving, or dishonest. It’s harder to notice when we are acting that way.

“But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: for he beholds himself, and goes away, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But he that looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continues, being not a hearer that forgets but a doer that works, this man shall be blessed in his doing.”  James 1:22-25.

How are we supposed to judge our own behavior when we rationalize, or excuse, what we do? Paul says that we have a mirror we can look into – the Bible. We can compare how Jesus acted, or how the Bible says to act, to our own behavior. What would Jesus do in this situation? What would He have said? What does the Bible say about … ? Remember, each of us has to answer to God – not each other.

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