Self Examination in Times of Distress

Looking at Our Sin

Looking at the sin of others without examining ourselves leads to wrong thoughts, attitudes and perspectives. It separates us from God’s will for our lives. It’s important to our Heavenly Father how we use our thoughts and emotions. Yes, we can have emotions (like anger) but we can’t allow them to cause us to sin against God or our neighbor. Ephesians 4:26

But this is REALLY bad

There is no provision in the Bible that says “this situation is unprecedented so I can discard my biblical principles and commandments.” Like the man who asked Jesus “who is my neighbor” or the apostle who asked “how many times must I forgive”, we tend to look for the easiest way out and want to make exceptions for situations that are particularly difficult for us. However, the worse we are sinned against, the more closely we need to cling to God and his promises.

I’m Looking At You

Looking at the sins of others too intently and becoming consumed and outraged by them leads us to forget our own sin. We neglect to examine our own hearts. We forget we are not to judge because then we will be judged. Matthew 7:1-2 We don’t stop to take the big piece of wood out of our eyes before removing the splinter from someone else.Matthew 7:3-5

Your Sin>My Sin

We say someone’s sin is worse than ours so we need no self-examination. Yet Jesus says there are no big sins and little sins no matter how much we want that view. Jesus wanted us to be clear. Murder is subject to judgment just like calling someone a name out of anger. Matthew 5:21-22 Adultery is the same as lusting after someone in your heart. Matthew 5:27-28

For God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Son…

The Good News is that God sent his only son Jesus to this world to die for ALL sins and sinners that we might be saved. John 3:16 There is no subset of sin he didn’t die for. He died for the sins of your enemy just as much as he died for you.

Be Careful…

A big danger- in our obsession with the sin of another, we risk becoming like that which we hate because we are so focused on it. We become consumed by our outrage which often leads us to sin against God and others. This is why we must not only search our own hearts but ask God to search our hearts for us. We must take a break from thinking about those who offend us and ask God to reveal the wickedness in our hearts. Psalm 139:23-24

Is There Hope?

So what can we do when outrage threatens to overwhelm us?

With the psalmists, let us be still and know that God is God. Let us take our outrage to him. Let’s pray without ceasing and ask forgiveness when needed knowing that God and only God is in control.


Lord, help us to respond in a Christ-like manner to things going on in our lives and in our world. Never let us get distracted from the purpose and mission you have for us. Help us to obey your clear commands and forgive us for our disobedience. Help us to love you and our neighbor In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:1,10