The Ideal and the Real

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Ideal and the Real

By Larry R. Lasiter

© 2010

"Do not complain against one another brethren so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold the Judge is standing right at the door." James 5:9

It seems that people are prone to judging others by the ideal while judging themselves by the real. Those who become self-appointed critics expect others to live up to the ideal of Christianity - "You are not acting like a Christian!" they may say.

But while they are sometimes right in their assessment of others they are quickly offended when they find themselves judged by the same perfect ideal and protest, -"What do you expect? Nobodyís perfect!"

The great novelist, Arnold Bennett expressed it this way, -"It is well, when judging a friend, to remember that he is judging you with the same godlike and superior impartiality." I like to put it this way, -"Finding fault with others is a full-time job which leaves no time to look for faults in yourself."

When you search the Scriptures you will find that in all cases the complainers are those who are blind to their own faults. Jesus said that before a person can see how to remove the splinter from his brotherís eye he must first remove the log out of his own eye. Jesus is saying that we should magnify and focus first on what is wrong with us before we minimize the focus on what is wrong with someone else.

Where we may see a "log" in our brotherís eye, God may see a "splinter" - and where we may see only a "splinter" in our own eye, God may see a "log." Jesus is saying that we should take a close look at ourselves in the real before we judge another by the ideal.

If we obey Jesus then we will be rightly motivated and have a humble attitude when helping correct a brother or sister. But the complainer is not really interested in helping another, but tears down others to justify his own unruly actions and behavior. It has been my experience that the grumbler usually complains about the very problem that plagues him, though he is blind to see it in his exalted state of self-righteousness.

Parishioners sometimes find fault with their Church while failing to take into account what they bring to the table themselves. Each of us has to examine ourselves to see what we are contributing to the Body. A congregation is healthy and vibrant when there is unity. Where there is unity there is harmony and trust and the Spirit working unhindered.

The Church is called the Household of God and Jesus said that a house divided cannot stand. Peter warned that Satan goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and he knows well that a scattered flock is easy prey.

 

No one can control you and you cannot control someone else. If you want a healthy and alive Church that brings joy to the Lord, then all you can do is do your part. Donít be a complainer be an encourager.

Rather than focusing on the faults of others, humbly take into account your own faults and pray for others. Ask yourself, "Am I faithfully representing Godís Church? - Am I in submission to my Pastor? Am I following His teachings? - Am I being a blessing to others?" Humbly get a real picture of yourself and then strive for the manifestation of the ideal of Christ in you.


 


 

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries