A gray-haired old lady, and a long time member of her church, shook hands with the minister after the service one Sunday morning. “That was a wonderful sermon,” she told him, “just wonderful. Everything you said applies to someone I know” (Bits & Pieces, November, 1989, p. 19).
It’s easy enough to do. After all, we hear hundreds of sermons every year. We sit and listen to lessons and think, “Wow. That is exactly what _______ is doing wrong.” Or we will think, “I sure do wish _______ could have heard this lesson.”
There is nothing wrong with wanting someone we love to hear a great Scriptural lesson. And in fairness, not every lesson applies to us specifically. However, let’s not be too quick to skip over ourselves. We cripple the way God’s message can work within us if we never apply it personally. Point the finger at others puts us in a dangerous position of picking out specks in others’ eyes when we may have a log in our own (Matthew 7:4-5).
Solomon said in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Let’s never be quick to think we are doing things right or we might find ourselves caught up in the very sins we arrogantly thought we were strong against.
The reason we sit and listen to lessons from God’s word is firstly to apply them to ourselves. Once we have done this, then we can focus on helping others as well. Let’s be eager to share the wonderful lessons we hear, but let’s make sure we have taken a long, hard look inside ourselves as well.