Examine yourself so you can see clearly. So you can help others.
1Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.
11:29 For he who eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks condemnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
11:30 For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and many sleep.
11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
Are you just acting like you love the Lord? We need to examine ourselves to be sure we are doing the things we are for the right reasons.
2Corinthians 13:4 For even though it was in weakness that he was put to death on the cross, it is by God's power that he lives. In union with him we also are weak; but in our relations with you we shall share God's power in his life.
13:5 Put yourselves to the test and judge yourselves, to find out whether you are living in faith. Surely you know that Christ Jesus is in you?---unless you have completely failed. -GNB
Examine yourself in your faith, are you living it? We have to examine ourselves because we can act like Christians, like nice people, but in our hearts we can be bitter and spiteful. To be sure we are truly living like Jesus wants us to we have to examine our hearts - our motives and desires, the reasons we do some of the things we do.
This is what we are supposed to be doing, in life, and for sure in the Christian life. Checking ourselves, testing ourselves, not others.
Deal with your own problems
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that you may not be judged.
7:2 For with whatever judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and with whatever measure you measure out, it shall be measured to you again.
7:3 And why do you look on the splinter that is in your brother's eye, but do not consider the beam that is in your own eye?
7:4 Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull the splinter out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye?
7:5 Hypocrite! First cast the beam out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to cast the splinter out of your brother's eye.
Yeah, that's a bummer, we are all hypocrites aren't we?
But then again:
1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has taken you but what is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation also will make a way to escape, so that you may be able to bear it.
It is funny that this verse says there is a way of escape. I know I have been in a position where i didn't know what the "way of escape" was. Of course I guess i knew turning to God would reveal it to me. So really, it is only a matter of asking God for help in temptation, and really wanting His help.
What we see Jesus telling us in Matthew 7 is to deal with our own problems.
1Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so you will fulfill the Law of Christ.
6:3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, being nothing, he deceives himself.
6:4 But let each one prove his own work (meaning deeds or acts, not completed work or job), and then he alone will have a boast in himself, and not in another.
6:5 For each one will bear his own load.
6:2 burdens = load
6:5 burdens/load = task
Here is Galatians 6:4 from the Good News Bible: You should each judge your own conduct. If it is good, then you can be proud of what you yourself have done, without having to compare it with what someone else has done.
The idea is of being proud of what you have done, not proud of yourself. Or rejoicing in what you have done.
Albert Barnes: "The sentiment is, that he will find in himself a source of pure joy. He will not be dependent on the applause of others for happiness. In an approving conscience; in the evidence of the favor of God; in an honest effort to lead a pure and holy life, he will have happiness. The source of his joys will be within; and he will not be dependent, as the man of ambition, and the man who thinks of himself more highly than he ought, will, on the favors of a capricious multitude, and on the breath of popular applause."
So here Paul is saying don't concern yourself with what others are doing. Judge yourself on your own acts. If you get it right, if you do things right then you can be happy you did them right. Don't compare your actions to those of others. Whether you think they do a better job than you, or a worse job.
And if you think that is too difficult to do, if you find it too easy to compare yourself to others, here is what we are supposed to be concentrating on:
Epheisians 4:22 For you ought to put off the old man (according to your way of living before) who is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
4:24 And you should put on the new man, who according to God was created in righteousness and true holiness.
From the Good News Bible:
Eph 4:22 So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to---the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires.
Eph 4:23 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new,
Eph 4:24 and you must put on the new self, which is created in God's likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.
This is interesting, as we know, the "new man" has already been created. (2Corinthians 5:17 So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.) When we joined the family of God we became "new". But here in Ephesians Paul tells us that we don't automatically act like "new" people. We must work at remembering we are new. We must work at acting like we are new people. And we must not contiue to live the old life we used to have. When we accepted Jesus as our Savior we became new people, but we have to work at leaving our old life and accepting the new life.
This requires us to continually remember that we are new.
What tools do we have to help us remember this? What tool do we have to measure our success in this "becoming new"?
Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And finally, how can we have time to focus on the problems of others if we are doing what God's Word tells us to:
2Peter 1:3 according as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue,
1:4 through which He has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
1:5 But also in this very thing, bringing in all diligence, filling out your faith with virtue, and with virtue, knowledge;
1:6 and with knowledge self-control, and with self-control, patience, and with patience, godliness,
1:7 and with godliness, brotherly kindness, and with brotherly kindness, love.
1:8 For if these things are in you and abound, they make you to be neither idle nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:9 For he in whom these things are not present is blind and cannot see afar off and has forgotten that he was purged from his sins in the past.
1:10 Therefore, brothers, rather be diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, you shall never fall.
Now read that again in the Good News Bible:
2Peter 1:3 God's divine power has given us everything we need to live a truly religious life through our knowledge of the one who called us to share in his own glory and goodness.
1:4 In this way he has given us the very great and precious gifts he promised, so that by means of these gifts you may escape from the destructive lust that is in the world, and may come to share the divine nature.
1:5 For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge;
1:6 to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness;
1:7 to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love.
1:8 These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:9 But if you do not have them, you are so shortsighted that you cannot see and have forgotten that you have been purified from your past sins.
1:10 So then, my friends, try even harder to make God's call and his choice of you a permanent experience; if you do so, you will never abandon your faith.
How do we have time to be judging what others are doing?
2Peter 1:10 tells us to "try even harder to make God's call and his choice of you a permanent experience;"
For most of us that is a full time job, to remember we are new, and to let go of the old.
Author: Mike Pritchard