One of the most difficult things in life is to see ourselves for who we really are. Someone has said, “If we could see ourselves as others see us we would probably deny it.” This has been a challenge for religious people throughout time. Jesus was regularly in conflict with the Scribes and the Pharisees, and He called them “hypocrites.”
In Luke 18, Jesus told about a Pharisee and a Publican who prayed. One big difference between the two is the Publican was able to see himself for who he really was, while the Pharisee was in the same spiritual drought if not worse, yet he thought highly of himself and looked on the Publican with disgust. It’s very difficult to see ourselves, know our own strengths and weaknesses, when we are constantly eyeing others. Thus Jesus talked about a hypocrite with a beam in his eye while trying to judge a brother who had only a speck in his eye.
I’m reminded of the following poem.
A lady with one of her ears applied
To an open key hole heard inside
Two female gossips in converse free
The subject enraging them was she.
“I think,” said one, “and my husband thinks,
That she’s a prying, spying, eavesdropping minx!”
As soon as no more of it she could bear,
The lady, indignant, removed her ear.
“I will not stay,” she said with a pout,
“To hear my character lied about!”
I want to be able to look in the mirror and see self for who I really am. I need to know my weaknesses so that I can do better. I need to be aware of my own faults lest I too become a hypocrite. The apostle Paul, who by the way was constantly aware of his own shortcomings, said to the brethren at Corinth, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not our own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (II Cor. 13:5).
Written by Brent Smith