There is one really bad reason to put a lot of effort into things. And I’m the worst for doing it.
Let me give you some examples.
First of all, why do you think I aim to exercise regularly?
There are a few reasons: it’s good for me; and I feel happier when I get more exercise. And …
when I judge overweight people for their condition, I realise that I must exercise myself to avoid being a hypocrite.
It’s a pretty ugly thought, isn’t it? Not a fun realisation to have about myself.
My novel writing is another example. Why am I working so hard to make my plot the best it can be?
Well, I want to be a quality writer. And …
when I criticise other writers’ work, I realise that I had better be pretty inventive myself to avoid being a hypocrite.
The sad part is, I don’t think I’ve avoided being a hypocrite at all. I’ve just fooled myself.
Why do I judge anybody? Jesus makes his thoughts the matter pretty clear when He says,
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“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.”
Matthew 7:1-5 NIV
He obviously hates these kinds of self-righteous attitudes.
Like a lot of the things I post about, this is a thought process that I didn’t realise I was doing. Now, it seems so obvious… and wrong.
How can I show Jesus’ love to others when I’m living my own life like this?
Please continue to clear my vision God, and help me to focus on You instead of others’ faults. Erase my pride before it lands me in quicksand. And please help me to live a life that honours You.