WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
TOPIC: FACE YOUR LIFE
BY T. O. BANSO
“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” (Matthew 7:3-5 New King James Version).
Afghanistanism is a derogatory term in journalism, which describes the practice by editorial writers of pontificating on problems in far countries instead of writing on local controversial problems. It is the practice of neglecting writing on local controversial issues and focusing on problems in a foreign land that are irrelevant to readers at home.
I think some people have embraced in their life what I can call the spirit of Afghanistanism. I’m adapting that term, Afghanistanism, not in its exact sense. There is a tendency by some people to focus on the failures in other people’s lives rather than face the failures in their lives. I’m not talking about not being concerned about people’s problems. I’m not advocating living a self-centred life. After all, Philippians 2:4 says, “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing” (New Living Translation).
I’m rather talking about the need for each person to correct what is wrong in his/her life instead of trying to police other people’s lives or expose, or even amplify, what is wrong.
It’s a pity that some people are quick to point out the weaknesses/failures in others, and discuss their mistakes or sins. Such people fail to realize that publicizing or exposing what is wrong in others will never make right the things that are wrong in their own lives, at least before God. It does seem that some people are more informed about other people’s lives than their own lives!
As I always say, and as everyone believes, nobody is perfect. Everybody has issues in his/her life. If someone is not directly accountable or related to you, you should not be giving the impression that you’re monitoring his/her life to ensure compliance with God’s standards or the standards you may have set. Why should people’s lives be the subject of others’ discussion nearly every time while neglecting the issues in their own lives? They’ve assigned to themselves a job that’s not theirs!
I’m talking about a holier-than-thou attitude. Often times, what people are quick to point out in others, they’re also guilty of. You don’t have a right to judge others without first judging yourself; otherwise, you’re a hypocrite, an insincere person. Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Matthew 7:1-2 New King James Version).
Jesus continued: “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” (Matthew 7:3-5 New King James Version).
Don’t be too eager to discuss others, especially when it’s about something negative. Look at yourself first. You may be guilty of the same sin or offence. Face your life. “This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before” (1 Thessalonians 4:11 New Living Translation).
Don’t be busy discussing other peoples’ sins, failures, etc. when you can’t claim to have gained victory in the same areas in your life. Face your own life. You have your own struggles.
Jesus told those who brought to Him the woman accused of being caught in adultery, seeking to stone her to death according to Moses’ law, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (John 8:7 New King James Version).
Her accusers went away disgraced. They couldn’t pick up the challenge Jesus threw at them. Instead of wasting their efforts monitoring her life, they should have been concerned about their own sexual immorality; they should have purged themselves of their own adultery. They made themselves the keeper of others’ vineyards, but their own vineyards they had not kept!
Don’t go far away, judging others. There is someone nearer you should judge: you. Judge or examine yourself (1 Corinthians 11:31). Don’t waste your energy on others. Deal with your own sins. Cry to God to save you. Seek the assistance of fellow believers to live in victory over your sins.
Don’t compare yourself with anyone saying, “At least I’m not as bad as …” or “My sins are not as many as that of…” A sin is a sin. No sin should be ignored. The ‘smallest’ sin will take anyone to hell. Instead of discussing others’ sins, face your life. Cry to God for deliverance.
When people discuss someone’s sins with you, if he/she is not accountable to you, it is not your job to judge the person. Let those whose responsibility it is do it.
Face your life. When Peter tried to find out from Jesus how another disciple, John the beloved, would die, Jesus told Peter to mind his business and follow Him (John 21:22).
Face your life. Paul warned believers not to be going around interfering in or meddling in other people’s affairs, but settle down, get to work, and earn their own living (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12). Also, Peter warned against prying into other people’s affairs (1 Peter 4:15).
Face your own life. I’m not saying be selfish or self-centred; but don’t be a gossip, a hypocrite, who is as guilty as others whose sins or failures he/she is discussing, neglecting his/hers. Don’t go far to fight a fire! Fight the fire in your own house, the fire devouring your life. Leave ‘Afghanistan’; face your life.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, deliver me from hypocrisy; help me to face my own life. In the name of Jesus, I shall not make other people’s lives the subject of my discussion while neglecting the issues in my life. Holy Spirit, help me to pray for others instead of judging them.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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