I must plead guilty to Jesus’ parable about judging other people. I frequently refer to this parable because of the correction it brings to my behavior.
“Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye but do not notice the log in your own eye?
“Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye?
“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye” (Matthew 7.3-5).
As a good “speck inspector,” I can readily see the error in another person. Jesus calls me a “hypocrite,” because I can find their speck but don’t notice the log in my eye.
Today’s blog passage is 2 Peter 2.10-15. It is tempting to be “speck inspectors” and see how these verses apply to others.
I have paraphrased the verses below. Rather than looking at other people, let’s examine how these verses may apply to us.
— Their boldness and willfulness lead them to slander God’s servants, a behavior that even mighty angels would never contemplate (verses 10b-11).
Question: How willing am I to speak wrongly about leaders in business, religion, or government?
— They exhibit irrationality worse than that of animals and malign things they fail to comprehend (verse 12).
Question: How often do I express an opinion without knowing the full story?
Am I willing to take the word of a social media personality who may provide a one-sided view of a person or issue?
— Their inclination is towards seeking pleasure instead of pursuing virtue, and they do so at every opportunity (verse 13).
Paul wrote, “Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things” (Philippians 3.19).
Question: To what extent have I made a “god” out of feeling good?
— They are insatiable in their appetite for sin and greedy in their pursuit of pleasure. Furthermore, they encourage others to follow in their footsteps (verse 14).
Question: Do I lead other people to be pleasure-seeking or greedy more than to become lovers of God?
— They earn their livelihood through wrongdoing and can only be controlled through drastic measures (verse 15).
Question: I do not financially profit from wrongdoing, but do I financially support those who do?
Response to Self-Examination
James counsels us: “Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed” (James 5.16).
The confession of our character defects to another trusted person will lead us in the direction of spiritual and physical health.
My response to Peter’s words is to change my social media viewing habits. It is very easy for me to watch YouTube videos that stimulate outrage and fear.
Instead of watching that kind of programming, my decision is to listen to the wisdom of God’s servants. Today, I began listening to Henry Blackaby.
John has a blessed promise: “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1.9).
Praise God for his grace. God’s redemptive plan frees us from the guilt of sin.
Rudy Ross and I continue a study on 2 Peter on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.