Monday, July 20, 2009

Remember your own errors, but remember that they are your errors

I would present two opposed but equally dangerous traps for the Christian (and especially the Pastor) to fall into. They are:

1. A Christian can ignore his own sin.
2. A Christian can assume that his temptations are others' temptations.

I think the first trap is one that we are quite familiar with - the idea that Satan will tempt us into overlooking our own flaws or weaknesses. I will not go much into this idea (although if you don't think you have any flaws, open your eyes!). Rather, let's consider for a moment the second flaw - we can end up defaulting or assuming that the things that tempt us are the things that tempt other people.

To a certain extent it is true that our temptations are just like other people - Satan keeps throwing the same slate of temptations at folks. However, there are certain ones that are appealing to me, that I am weak towards - and then there are some temptations which carry little weight. When I focus on my own struggles, of course I will be focused in on the things that give me a hard time.

The danger becomes this - just because a specific temptation isn't a burden for me doesn't mean I should diminish that temptation or struggle in another. Also, just because something is a trial for me, I shouldn't treat others as though my trial is their trial.

We must remember the situation of the person we are caring for - because if we only and always see things through our own lens, our care ceases to focus upon our neighbor and in reality becomes an exercise in selfishness. If MY struggles are so strong that I assume that you just have to have the same ones as ME - I'm really aggrandizing myself.

When speaking God's Word, we must always take care to understand whom we are talking to and what they need to hear - we must decrease, even if this means getting our own weaknesses out of the way, so that we can speak the Word rightly.

Just some thoughts.

No comments: