I teach junior high math. After teaching junior high for twenty-four years I know what immature looks like! It is amazing how kids can be within a year of the same age but some can be so much more mature than others. One thing is certain no one likes to be called immature. The problem is that many Christians, even though they have been saved for a long time, are still immature in their walk.
Paul addresses this in his first letter to the church at Corinth. First in 1 Corinthians 3:2 he says, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,” Picture a baby who can only drink milk but as they grow and mature they can begin to eat solid food. Some of the Christians Paul was writing to hadn’t developed as Christians enough to be ready for solid food. He was saying, they are immature. Again he addresses this in 1 Corinthians 14:20 when he says, “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.” In our thinking, in our faith we need to be mature and always maturing!
Over the next few weeks we are going to be looking at things that mature Christians do that immature Christians often struggle with. The first one is found in Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. As we mature as Christians we stop pointing out the sins of others and start recognizing and confessing our own.
It seems as if Christians are often the most judgmental people around. We are so quick to point out the failing of others. When I was growing up my summer job was working at a swimming pool. Too many times Christians take on the duty of lifeguard. We sit up all high and mighty and blow our whistle to acknowledge when someone has broken a rule/sinned. Sadly we often do it in a public way that shames the person who has committed the sin. Have you ever wondered why we do this? One of the reasons is probably the fact we would rather focus on someone else failures than fix our own.
Jesus tells us in Matthew that we are to first “remove the plank in our own eye before we try to remove the speck in our friends eye.” When I think about this there are two things that stand out to me. The first is the comparison between a plank and a speck. As Christians it seems we are always comparing ourselves to others and often think that others are worse than us when this passage makes it seem that we often times sin more but don’t acknowledge it like we should. The second thing that stands out to me is that after removing a plank from our eye then we can remove a speck from someone else’s. What would our vision be like if we removed a plank from our eye? I don’t think we would be in any position to do some detailed work like removing a speck. In other words, we have no business worrying about someone else’s sin.
A mature Christians isn’t busy judging others and pointing out their faults. They do however recognize when sin has come into their own life and they repent of it. To confess it to Christ and then turn away from it.
Have you matured in this area?
What can you do to help you stopping pointing out the sin of others and start confessing your own?