Do you know of any “holier than thou” people in your life? Those who are hypocritical, who walk around condemning other peoples’ behaviour as if they are sinless? No only do they condemn, they “WARN” others about others, and ask them to stay away from these people or give unsolicitied ‘references’ recommending that they are not taken on for the job these ‘others’ have applied for or even intervene to the extent of stopping any prospective partners. However, all along their sins are hidden, tucked away in the darkness but they pretend that they are simply perfect and have others fooled. The ones they condemn are the ones who are living in the light, not of pretence but transparent.
I was just thinking of one such person in my life many years ago. How much this guy interfered in my life! His sister was annoyed with me as she had warned me to stay away from him, but I had gotten close with his wife. In fact he had interfered in his sister’s life much prior to this, so I wasn’t surprised when he stooped so low to try to stop everything that was going in my life. The best part was I knew all the sins of his darkness but I wasn’t going to go down to his level and spread his past around to those spiritual leaders who were fooled by him. Actually, if those leaders were truly spiritual, they would have discerned what was right, what was wrong, what was true and was false… So I just pulled away from them and let them have their little whatever ‘club’ that it was they were having!
Sad thing though however, is WE ALL – including you and me – fall into this trap of pointing out the speck in another person’s eye overlooking the log in our own. We don’t realise that our LOG is actually clouding our eye sight! We often forget how much God has forgiven our past and how He has seen past the appearances and into our heart. We forget His grace and patience with us for sinning repetitively. Yet we expect the other people around us to have PERFECT behaviour at all times. We set the standard for them and in fact impose LAWS and RULES and REGULATIONS.
Interesting part is with God because of the work of Jesus on the cross we are now not under law, but under grace. We obey Him, we strive to please Him not because we HAVE to, but because we WANT to. We love Him soooooo much that we DESIRE to be led by Him. Yet we also know for a fact, that NOTHING we can ever do or not do, will increase His love for us, because He already loves us… such love that took Jesus to the cross to give us healing from our sins, our infirmities.
God sees each person’s heart… He knows the childhood experiences that have afflicted the naive hearts when each person was young. We know Jesus warns people:
“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” – Matthew 18:6
Even for ‘fun’, people get little ones to lie, to get their way, to get attention…. Selfishness, greed are all sins. An adult’s value system or rather their worldview is more or less developed by the age of 5. God knows what each one has faced, He knows the bullying, the peer pressure, the abuse if any, how dysfunctional the family was etc. From these experiences, the child grows up with their own fears and broken boundaries or over protective walls.
If someone has a chronic headache, there is no point telling that person to take painkillers for the headache to go away. It may subdue the pain or give temporary relief but until the root cause of the symptom is diagnosed, and then treated, the headache will not disappear (unless of course there is divine intervention). The root cause could be a psychosomatic problem or an emotional issue too or even a generational curse or a spiritual bond. Telling someone to DEAL with it and get it RIGHT, simply won’t work and is indeed FOOLISHNESS on our part. We are complex human beings.
I know for a fact that from the time I identify an issue in my life, there is always a time lapse and many failures before I can get it set straight again. I often find that after a while of being set straight, that I still stumble. And in those times of repeat failures after a time of success, God has never been absent or silent in my life. I get words of confirmation of encouragement directly and through His children who have no idea as to what I’m going through… He repeatedly tells me that my heart is pure and in the right place. Amidst of the tears of sadness for not being as holy as I would desire to be, I persevere as God understands my human frailty. He understands the work of the flesh, He understands the work of the enemy and He knows the situations that we live in are far from perfect.
God knows that we are failing as the Body of Christ – He knows that we aren’t helping each other and extending love to each other as we should. When we step into nurturing one another with acts of kindness, we all heal automatically. It is the love of God in us and through us that does wonders. We cannot conquer anything by our will power, but we can only heal and go on the right path by a yielded heart led by the Holy Spirit.
We are so hypocritical when we place unrealistic demands on other peoples’ lives full of, “do this” and “don’t do that”s. Guess what, were you perfect? Are you perfect now? Well, I’m certainly not and I serve a God of mercy and compassion who has forgiven me over and over again. He doesn’t have unrealistic expectations on me, and I certainly think it’s hypocritical to have unrealistic expectations from others.
Christians often place rules and regulations and expect behaviour. The fruit we display is not my fruit or your fruit… it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which means what is seen is the result of how much we are yielded to God and thus allow the WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Don’t despair when people with logs in their eyes see the speck in yours and give you an outline as to how you SHOULD live your life and place more laws than the Bible.
God knows that we are COMPLEX people. He never fits any one into any type of box… He doesn’t stereotype… He isn’t fooled by appearances and He doesn’t categorise people… He sees your heart… He sees my heart and He sees the other person’s heart.
For example God knows that the girl who is promiscuous or ‘slutty’ as we would label her was actually sexually abused much as a child. He knows that she thinks showing love means giving her body because that is what her childhood has taught her. God also knows how much we believers shun people aside with condemnation and also add to it by laying out the laws not to run behind a man or if a man doesn’t chase her, he doesn’t love her etc. Not all men are the same and not all women are the same. Each one’s exposure moulds them. Different cultures have their pros and cons. The West leans towards individualism and guilt while the East leans towards legalism and shame. It is soooo wrong of us to fit people into a box. Am I so glad that God thinks outside of the box?!! Yes… we don’t understand what has made one to be the way they are.
God loved Tamar and in fact placed her on the genealogy of Jesus Christ – the very child that was conceived was a part of the descent. God loved Samson despite revealing the secret to Delilah – in fact this relationship was used to put an end to the Phillistines. God loved Noah despite getting drunk, God loved King David, God loved Hosea. We don’t know what God is doing with each one’s lives so we don’t have the right to judge.
But when we don’t extend the love of God to these people, when we don’t practice the ‘one another’ commandments that God has given us, we are overlooking the LOG in our eyes and SINNING… God’s love through us extended to the other, helps with the healing whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. Let’s do our part in obeying God to love one another as ourselves and let God perform His role. Let’s stop playing God in the other person’s life. We have the right to speak the truth in love, but we have no right to condemn or expect them to get it right NOW.
Let’s extend the love and patience that God extends to you and me… as He transforms us into His image.