I’ve heard this repeatedly in recent days. It may or may not be true, but for a Christian it is an exercise in missing the point.
Just because I’m not as guilty as someone may say I am, doesn’t mean I’m as innocent as I think I am.
Jesus addressed this in His sermon on the mount. He prefaced a number of statements with, “You have heard it said . . . but I say.” He took sin from the extreme of outward sin to the essence of inward sin. He went from the fruit to the root.
Me: “I’m not a murderer.”
Jesus: “Sure, but is there hatred in your heart?”
Me: “I’m not an adulterer.”
Jesus: “True, but is there lust in your heart?”
Me: “I’m not a racist.”
Jesus: “OK, but is there prejudice and bias in your heart?”
“Ah,” you say, “but everyone has prejudice.” True. It IS part of the human condition to evaluate others before we actually know them. But that doesn’t mean we get a pass. Everyone lies, hates, lusts, but that doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit will overlook them.
The prevalence of a sin in others is no excuse to ignore it in myself.
If I sincerely desire to be clean before God there is no room for willful ignorance, rationalization, or excuses for the dirt. We should pray with the Psalmist, “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.” When the Holy Spirit sanctifies, He won’t just scrub on the “extreme” outward sins. He’ll painfully strip back the layers until He exposes the deepest essence of sin.
The question is, what will we do once it’s exposed?