“Is it easier to repent,” asks Scott in the new Forward Today, “or to point the finger at someone else’s need to repent? What practices will you take on when Lent starts in a month?”
Dear friends in Christ,
Everyone loves to talk about the sins of other people. This is not a new problem for Christians. But it’s a big problem, since it’s not what the Gospel asks us to do.
Jesus is pretty clear. We are to confess our sins. We are to keep humble. We are to love others. We are not supposed to judge others. It all goes together.
I think Jesus taught this, again and again, because he knew that focusing on the sins of others is a serious temptation. And 2,000 years later, we humans haven’t evolved on this front. We still love to focus on the sins of others rather than think about our own.
It’s easy to pretend that racism or sexism or any other kind of bias is a problem that other people have. It’s easy to pretend that when Jesus challenges the rich, he’s not talking about us, despite how our income might compare with the global standard. It’s easy to pretend that other people fail to forgive, because we convince ourselves that we will forgive when the other person deserves it. It’s easy to point at the contradictions in someone else’s political views, but it’s harder to admit our own. It’s easy to think that repentance is something that other people need to do. You get the idea.
Lent is coming. It’s a whole season devoted to repentance. Usually, around this time of year I think about what practices I might take on during Lent. But maybe there is a prior step. Maybe I need to think about my sins, so that I know how I need to focus this season.
What about you? Is it easier to repent, or to point the finger at someone else’s need to repent? What practices will you take on when Lent starts in a month?
I can’t change the whole world, but I can change my heart. That’s where I’m looking these days.
Our featured sale product today is Ashes and the Phoenix. This book of meditations for Lent is just $3.75, today only!
And I reminder that the For the Beauty of the Earth Wall Calendar is now just $5. It’s not too late to start enjoying this beautiful liturgical calendar—a companion to the daily devotional For the Beauty of the Earth, featuring the watercolors of Kathrin Burleson.
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