Who’s the worst sinner you know?
You know, the person who’s always judgemental about everyone. On the outside the might look perfect, but you know their thoughts are far from pure. Jesus told us to love and that by that love we would be known but a label that says hater would describe them best.
The worst sinner I know is me.
If you know me you might agree that there are people that are far worse then me. You might make the case about how I serve Jesus by teaching in public schools and teaching at my church. Yes, there are people that have committed public sins that are far more horrific than any I have ever committed.
I am still the worse sinner I know. I can see a few other people’s sins. But I know absolutely every single evil though I’ve ever had. I know how many times I have acted so selfishly that I wanted something so bad that it didn’t matter what happened to anyone else. My motives even for good things have not always been in the right place. Furthermore, I know all of this and know there is so much more.
You have probably read about Paul or at least heard of him. Excluding Christ, He is the greatest missionary in the New Testament. He sacrificed all he had worked to gain in the Jewish community, suffered hunger, received insults, was rejected, was imprisoned, shipwrecked, was nearly killed several times, and loved the Church with the greatest love. This same Paul acknowledges himself as the worst sinner.
How could he? Because he was the worst sinner he knew. He shares this struggle he has with his sinful nature in Romans 7.
So why I am saying all this?
I think it would benefit us is we dealt with the sinner we know best more than the sinners we know externally. I am not saying that we should not confront the sins of others in a loving way especially if they are harming others. Paul did.
What I am saying is that it can become easier to judge and point the finger at someone else’s sin and tuck away our sins because they are not visible. This is what the Pharisees did and Jesus reprimanded,
Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV)
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Jesus wants us to battle the worst sinner we know. And that will happen from the inside out. We are to be transformed from the inside out. Our external appearance should be changed because of what Jesus has done and is doing on the inside. Not, make the outside look nice and clean so people think our hearts right with God.