November 9, 2008

Follow the Lamb - Section IV

In the next section of Pastor Bonar's work on the Christian life, he briefly considers our persistent inconsistency in judging our own sins over against the sins of others.


IV. DEAL HONESTLY WITH YOURSELVES


'If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged' (1 Cor 11:31); i.e. if we would but faithfully judge ourselves, we should be spared the infliction of divine chastisements. But we are not faithful to our own souls. We deal with a slack hand in things pertaining to our own sins, and let things go unreproved and uncondemned in ourselves which we are sharp enough to discover and rebuke in others. Deal honestly with every part of your daily life; in regard to duty, or trial, or sacrifice, or self-denial, or forbearance with others. Beware of one-sidedness or self-partiality--in truth, in experience, or in action. Remember that all things have two sides: a tender conscience and a well-balanced mind will deal with both. Deal honestly with conscience in all things, small and great, spiritual or temporal; deal honestly with the Church of God, and with the brethren; deal honestly with God--Father, Son, and Spirit.

Strange that in spiritual things we should try to cheat ourselves as well as others! Yet so it is. We are loath to take the worst view of our own case; to think evil of ourselves; to act the stern censor in regard to our own omissions and commissions. We have few excuses for others, many for ourselves; evils that seem monstrous in others are trifles in us. When looking at others, we use a microscope; at ourselves, we either shut our eyes or put on a veil. This dishonest dealing is very pernicious; this 'covering of sin' is destructive both of peace and progress. And when we remember that all dishonest dealing with ourselves is in reality dishonest dealing with God, the evil is seen to be the more hateful and the more inexcusable (Hosea 11:12). Be honest and upright before God and man; with your own conscience; with the blood of sprinkling; and with that law which is 'holy, and just, and good.' Don't flatter your own heart, nor tell a lie to conscience, nor think to deceive God (Ps 101:7; Jer 9:6; 17:9; Gal 6:3; James 1:22; 1 John 1:8).
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