Titus 1:15-16 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.
People are tricky. Sometimes those who are most legalistic about the behavior of others are debauched in their personal lives. There have been examples of that throughout history. As a matter of fact, right now we see politicians of various labels thinking they are exceptions to the very rules they insist on for everyone else. They of course aren’t Church leaders, but the principle is the same. As the song, Build an Ark says, “Tired of the men who make the laws and break them any time they please.” The thing is, we all have the same tendency, accusing in others what we excuse in ourselves. We all need the cleansing blood of Jesus over our minds and our actions. That’s why Jesus warned us about false teachers, saying that we would recognize them by their fruit. (Matthew 7:15-20) The sad thing is, when our mind and conscience is corrupted, we literally can’t see what is wrong with what we are doing. That’s why our focus must be on Jesus Christ first and foremost, because He alone is the standard by which we are to judge ourselves, the example to which we are to aspire.
Once again, this applies to me as much as it does to anyone else. I am to apply everything the Lord says to me and through me to myself first, before I go looking around to see who it might apply to. Simply knowing the truth in my mind doesn’t cut it; I need to be living it out. My purity must come from the inside out, as the natural fruit of humble fellowship with Christ by His Spirit. I am not to hesitate to correct those in my care when it is called for, but that must always be done in love, recognizing that my own life has needed plenty of correction over the years. At the same time, I’m not to excuse things simply because I’ve done them too. I’m back to what I wrote about yesterday: the need to love God and love my neighbor. If I love God in all humility and gratitude, He will cleanse me of every impurity. If I love my neighbor, I will accurately transmit God’s truth and love to him in the same way that I know I need them.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the grace that You have poured out on me over the years, and that You continue to supply. May I be an undefiled instrument of that grace, lifting up those around me and not tearing them down, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!