Destroy Your Church: Don’t
Look in the Mirror
Mirrors are useful things. They show us when we need to comb our
hair, reveal the ketchup stain just out of sight on our shirt,
and help us to get the specks out of our eyes. And because of that
last item, if you want to destroy your church, you should never – figuratively
speaking – “look in the mirror.”
Don’t spend time examining yourself for sin. Don’t
put your words, actions, attitudes, and thoughts to the test. Don’t
do group evaluations to see whether the church, the leadership
team, the committees, etc. are on target scripturally, or are perhaps
heading off the straight and narrow down the path of sin.
Just assume that everything you do, say, think, and believe is
100% accurate, and does not require further analysis. No need for
a mirror here, thank you. Every hair is in place and there are
no specks in my eyes – I’m sure of it.
The fact is, that attitude tends to spawn a second attitude … a
tendency to point out specks in other people’s eyes. You
remember Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7:3-5?
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's
eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can
you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,'
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 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.”
You can see the progression: sin (the speck in my eye) covered
by pride (the conviction that I could not possibly be wrong) leads
to hypocrisy (telling other people what’s wrong with them,
while ignoring what’s wrong with me). The final result? Instead
of helping others, you alienate them.
Hypocrisy can be a very subtle sin, because the hypocrite may
truly believe he or she is trying to help another person. And may
very well have found a speck in the other person’s eye that
needs removing. And may know all the right Scripture verses. But
with a hypocritical attitude – an unwillingness to see the
plank in his or her own eye – positive change will never
result. People resist, ignore, or are offended
by hypocrites. That
is why hypocrisy can often be found at the root of church dissension
and splits: hypocrisy polarizes people into separate camps.
The antidote? A healthy dose of examination, individually or as
a group, in order to take a good look at ourselves and remove the
planks out of our own eyes. Here are a few “mirrors” you
can look in:
- I Corinthians 13: How do you stack up to this description
- Romans 12:9-21: Are you living out each phrase in this
- Galatians 5:19-26: How do you compare to the virtues
listed here? How about the sins?
- Matthew 5:1-12: Do you live out the Beatitudes each day?
When we spend time in examination, rooting out our sin, confessing
it, and repenting of it, it builds a strong sense of humility.
Clothed with humility, we can indeed help take the specks out of
other people’s eyes … because we admit how many planks
we have to deal with ourselves. People can accept help from someone
who admits their sin and weakness much more readily than they can
accept help from a self-proclaimed supersaint. Humility is the
antithesis of hypocrisy. Humility is the foundation of church unity.
Take a good look in the mirror. Is there a plank in your eye?
Article Source: http://www.sinkyourroots.com
About the Author:
Paula J. Marolewski provides challenging and interactive adult Bible
studies for individuals, Bible studies, small groups, and adult Sunday School
classes at Sink Your Roots. Studies
include such topics as Debunking
the Myths about Knowing God's Will. The
site also offers free weekly Seedlings
- “Little thoughts
that grow big results.”