If you’re like me, you’re noticing that you’ve made a habit of prejudicing yourself against the world. I know this is no small thing to do, but it really is something we are capable of — at least its something that I’ve been doing!
The problem is that I see myself as I am and think, “If I’m this bad, imagine how much worse the rest of the world must be! Gosh, I need to be on my guard or I could get really hurt by other people.” So I avoid others because I superimpose the worst of motives and possible behaviors upon their unknown characters.
The predominance of this reaction shows that I don’t remind myself regularly enough that I am the chief of sinners. I am the one that I need to be praying God will protect others from. I am regularly conscious of insensitive remarks and ill-timed actions. And if I make such mistakes in minute things, how much more threatening can my sin be on a scale of more people, more time, more temptation to think of myself first?
I needn’t be out there looking for and labeling the worst that I can expect from sinners according to what I observe in my enemies. I should ask God, instead, to let me see how I’m abusing these same people that are very close to His heart. If I am already guilty of slaying God’s anointed Mediator, what worse thing could I expect of anybody? Do I think that I should deserve better treatment than what I have given to my Savior?
My fears then are indirect revelations of pride and arrogance. I think I am really the greatest sinner — as in the one with the least reviling sin; the most limited career of wickedness on record — but the also the one most worthy of being called “saint”. Add to this my assumption that sin is just a cover-up of my better qualities — qualities that should not be damaged by the “true” sin of others.
It’s no wonder that I had no way of gaining entrance to God’s holy presence before Christ completely covered my shameful heart with His innocent blood. Only through Christ could He stand the sight of me!
God soften my heart with humility. I need to see that if anyone should have received Your full judgment, it was me; if anyone should make Your mercy a spectacle, it is me. And yet I will rejoice with joy inexpressible — I, even I — have been raised up into Your life with You; I shall never have what my sin deserved because Christ has already received it. Let fear go out of my heart just as Your love comes to take up more room in me.