“Your own sins and struggles are more than enough to focus on without adding the shortcomings of others to the list!”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 9, 2022
How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. Job 13:23, ESV
Over the years, I’ve noticed that children can be remarkably attentive to the shortcomings of others, especially their siblings. Though a child may be slow to own their own faults and give a long list of excuses as to why they are innocent, the same grace is rarely extended to a brother or sister, instead quickly pointing out when they failed to complete a chore, show kindness, or eat their vegetables.
In truth, I wonder if we as adults are all that different?
Though the issues may be different, the heart posture is so often the same. We are constantly tempted to ignore our own shortcomings, choosing instead to spend that energy on the flaws and mistakes of others. Of course, we may not always point them out or act on our observations, yet the time and energy is still spent formulating an opinion and carrying it around with us in our heart and soul.
I once had a wise mentor sum up the wise Christian response to this challenge with a simple phrase: “Keep your eyes on your own plate.” Each of us has our own nutritional needs, spiritual foods rich in love and mercy, and how can we possibly eat them to our benefit if we are spending our time looking around the table, judging the decisions and choices of others? There is only so much time in a day, and only so many things that you can spend your day focused upon. Chances are, your own sins and struggles are more than enough to focus on without adding the shortcomings of others to the list!
In a deeply divided and polarized culture, this posture is needed in a desperate way. In fact, without it you will find it increasingly difficult to navigate the waters of daily life. Why? Because it is nearly impossible to find people with whom you agree on all issues of life and faith. Even within your closest circles, there are people whose politics, relational decisions, and worldview will clash with yours, and you may be tempted to focus fully on what you perceive to be the errors of their way.
Before you do, pause and take a deep breath. Is your opinion and judgement of them necessary and for their good (and yours)? Might you today instead redirect that time and energy toward the Lord in prayer, saying with Job, “Make me know my transgression and my sin” (Job 13:23).
Father, help me to see my own faults and not to live in judgement of my brother or sister, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Take time today to identify ways you have allowed your focus to drift from “your own plate.” How can you free yourself from the need to judge or form hardened opinions about others and instead focus on your own need for mercy and the healing touch of the Lord?
Lamentations 3:40; Haggai 1:5-7; Galatians 6:4-5
Travis Cottrell: Just As I Am
If you are blessed by these daily devotionals please prayerfully consider a donation to support Wisdom Hunters Resources. We are trusting the Lord for His provision.
Download our app!
March 31, 2023
“Love is the fruit that most often flourishes in a life of holiness.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 31, 2023 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked [...]
March 30, 2023
“One of the most common reasons for spiritual apathy is a sense of familiarity that leads to indifference.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 30, 2023 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1, ESV As human beings, we can [...]
March 29, 2023
“Pride cringes in the light of love and cowers in face of humble faith in and dependence on Jesus Christ.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 29, 2023 The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5, NIV C.S. Lewis, in his clear, concise, [...]