Have you ever noticed how often we can find terrible faults in others but seem to have a significant amount of grace for ourselves? It’s like a radar that picks up the shortcomings of others while we are relaxing in the stealth suit that makes us invisible. Scripture talks about this in many different ways including a spec vs. a beam in someone’s eye.
We see it all the time in sermons and blogs, facebook posts and instagram feeds. It is so much more fun to point out the sins of those around us than to admit and deal with the sins that plague our own hearts.
This weekend, we looked at the story of 2 other thieves that hung on crosses near Jesus in Luke 23. One scoffed at Jesus saying that if He was the Son of God, he could allow them to escape this punishment. The second thief challenged the first responding to Jesus on a personal level and acknowledging that he deserved his punishment but Jesus did not.
Have you ever stopped to consider which thief better represents you? When I read this story, I often think of myself as the second thief. After all, I’m not that bad. I know plenty of people that fit in the category of the scoffer.
Why is it that we find it so easy to identify ourselves with the second thief instead of the first? We like to be the “good thief”.
I have come to believe that experiencing true life with Jesus only begins when we recognize our own sinful nature. Letting ourselves off the hook while skewering those we deem less worthy than ourselves is a recipe for self centeredness and cynicism.
The good news for us? When we are faithful to confess our sins and follow in the way of Jesus, He will forgive us, heal us, and one day bring us to a place of perfect peace and rest with Him.
What would happen if we stopped firing on all of the targets we see around us and dealt with the target covering our own hearts?