What is visible is such a small part of what is real. I often forget that what people know of me is limited to what they observe: my physical appearance, my actions, what I say. But there is so much more of me: my inner life, my thoughts, concerns, spiritual stuff. Even more I forget that what I “know” of others, on my own, is similarly limited. I only know what I observe. There is so much more to others. Yet, I still find myself reaching conclusions, dare I say judging, others by what I see.
For Christians, that’s not the way it should be. With our life in Christ should come spiritual discernment, in our time spent with Him we should be learning some small part of His knowledge, concern and love for others. That is, I think, what OC is talking about today. Sometimes we get knowledge, but leave the concern and love behind. “If we are not heedful and pay no attention to the way the Spirit of God works in us, we will become spiritual hypocrites. We see where other people are failing, and then we take our discernment and turn it into comments of ridicule and criticism, instead of turning it into intercession on their behalf. God reveals this truth about others to us not through the sharpness of our minds but through the direct penetration of His Spirit. If we are not attentive, we will be completely unaware of the source of the discernment God has given us, becoming critical of others . . . “
As God begins to work in our lives, there should be improvement. We should become more like Him. It is so human to take pride in these changes as if we had caused them ourselves. Then we move the absurd to a new level by thinking we can make those changes in others.
” Be careful that you don’t become a hypocrite by spending all your time trying to get others right with God before you worship Him yourself.”
When we see sin in our brothers, we should go to the same place we go when the Spirit shows us our sin, to Jesus. We should get His mind for others, just as we try to get His mind for us. Just as worship brings change in us; worship brings us to real intercession for change in others.
Want to be a blessing? Recognize we can no more change others than we can change ourselves. But don’t stop there, recognize Our Lord as the source for all change. Go to Him when change is needed whether in us or in others and