Jeffrey Stevens

Reflections from Luke 7:39

Luke 7:39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”

As Christians, I think far too many of us, myself included, find comfort in comparing ourselves to others instead of trying to identify with them. Too often, I’ve sat at my desk before bed going through an examination of conscience and finding a false sense of peace in the fact that many of my friends have sinned much worse than I have over the previous 24 hours.

I fail to spend time seeking the grace and mercy I am only able to receive through Jesus. Instead, my time is spent building my pride in the fact that many of the people I know make me look like a saint. I don’t think we realize just how dangerous this habit can be.

By judging others instead of looking for how we identify with them, we miss out on the blessings we receive through repentance. Any opportunity for spiritual growth and maturity are gone once the focus shifts towards the sins of someone else. This not only builds a false sense of achievement in who we are. It also becomes evident we’ve missed out on the opportunity to help another person grow.

We skip taking the time to have a meaningful conversation with a friend or loved one. This conversation could be used to create a clearer image of the cross in the individuals life. Instead, we hide the details in the back of our minds until bringing them up is convenient for us. This also prevents us from seeing the truth of our sin, making it difficult to seek sincere forgiveness.

There’s another significant danger we are at risk of when we spend our time judging others.  We become like the Pharisee in the reading. We begin to lose focus on who Jesus is and our great need for Him.

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