Most hate sin as long as it is not their sin. Have you ever noticed why so many focus on homosexuality and abortion while neglecting to mention their own sins? They shout with a fist full of rage against murder and rape, but do they mention that they are living in adultery? Do they mention that they are liars and thieves? Do they mention that they take an eye for an eye and seek revenge on all who do them harm? Do they mention that they use vulgar language and tell dirty jokes? Do they mention that they watch filthy movies and listen to provocative music?
We hate drunkenness when it destroys someone’s life. We hate gossip when people are spreading stuff about us or our kids. We hate gambling when we see it place someone into poverty. In fact, most are really good at hating sin in other people. For some reason, our moral vision is so clear when we look at others, but is blurred when it comes to our own.
Our gossip is justified because we’re telling only a couple of folks, and our intentions are good, of course. Anger? we find it quite silly when we see people getting angry over the most ridiculous things, but our anger is always justified. Self-pity? Impatience? Selfishness? It’s so sad to see these sins in others, isn’t it? I wish I could help them take their eyes off of themselves and put them on the Lord.
But our own self-pity? Justified. Our impatience? Excusable. Our selfishness? Quite reasonable. You’d feel the same way if you were in my shoes, they say. That’s the most dangerous thing about sin, isn’t it? It’s self-deluding.
Satan doesn’t care if we hate sin, as long as we don’t hate it in ourselves. He loves self-righteousness, and he’s thrilled when we shake our head at those whom we know not. These familiar words from Jesus need to fill our hearts every day:
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matt 7:3-5).
What Jesus is clearly saying is that we must first remove the great sins within ourselves, before we can attempt to point out even the smallest sins of others. Put more bluntly, as Christians, we must practice what we preach (Rom 2:21,22)!