When I start to grow and God works in my life, there is always a new temptation that comes along with each step of growth and deepening faith. Satan will make sure of that.
As God begins to show me the sin in my heart, I start to become aware of the sin in others’ lives, as well. Things that didn’t bother me one bit before (when I was fine with doing them myself) will start to grate on my nerves in other people’s lives – like fingernails on a chalkboard.
I may find that women disrespecting their husbands or trying to control them is everywhere (or whatever sin I am currently working on in my own life).
When a particular sin issue is finally on my radar, I will become much more aware of the same sin in others’ lives.
If I am not careful, however, I will fall into a trap of the enemy. If he can’t keep me blind to my own sin, he would love to encourage me to develop a prideful, self-righteous, condemning, critical spirit toward others who are involved in my same kind of sin issues.
It can be tempting to think, “I have this whole disrespect and control thing totally in the bag. I’m being such an amazing Christian wife now. Doesn’t every guy wish he could be married to an awesome girl like me? All those other women really need to get it together.” But then, the second I do that, there is that nasty pride again. That is what started the whole thing in the first place with my control and disrespect toward my husband!
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Romans 2:1
We all have to always be on guard for prideful thoughts. Here are some thoughts that may help us keep things in proper perspective:
- How can I look down on other women who have the same struggles I do?
- If I see others dealing with my particular sin issues, it is a chance to notice how destructive sin is and to see how much my own sin wounds those in my life when I act like that. When I see it more objectively from the outside of someone’s life, I may see it more from the perspective of my own husband when I do this to him.
- I may be tempted to try to control or disrespect other women. That is not okay. Then I am right back to doing the same sin again!
- I may find out next week or next year that I am still doing things that feel disrespectful to my husband that I am not currently aware of. I still have much to learn myself and will always have much to learn.
- How can I condemn another person when if it weren’t for the grace of God, that is where I would be right now, too?
- This is an incredible opportunity for me to extend the grace of Christ to others that I have received myself!
- Without the Lord’s power and His Spirit, I am capable of any sin in my own sinful nature.
- People sure don’t need my opinions or human wisdom, they need the Lord.
- Lord, help me see my pride clearly and help me to detest it as much as You do.
- The only power I have over any sin is Jesus’ power in me. It is not my own goodness. I have zero ability to please God in my own power.
- These precious women – for whom Jesus died – need my prayers, my support, and the love of Christ.
- They need God to open their eyes like He did for me and to be set free (just like I needed to be) because if they knew how to get out of that spiritual prison, they would.
- God desires me to show genuine, godly respect to these other women (and everyone else).
- I have the same depraved sinful nature that every other person does – thank You, Jesus, that You have put it to death!
- I still have access to my sinful nature – but now that I have Jesus, I have a choice to allow my old self to remain dead and to live by God’s Spirit or to get my old sinful nature out. I can still sin if I choose to. Only through the power of Christ in me can I have victory.
- It is a moment by moment choice whether I “reckon myself dead to my old sinful nature” or not. If I am far enough away from God, I am capable of any sin. But if I am in Christ, I won’t want to be in sin, but I will long to please the Lord.
- Those who don’t have Christ have no choice but to sin, they are slaves of the sinful nature. This should provoke compassion in me for them.
- My sin was and is just as deadly to my soul as any one else’s sin, no matter what sin it may be.
- We all stand on level ground at the foot of the cross in total desperate need of Jesus’ blood and the cross.
- I must constantly embrace humility. Exalting God alone, not myself.
- God is good. I am not.
- Anything good in me is from Jesus. Not from me. I have no right to boast in myself, only in Christ.
- How I long to only think and say things that are of the Lord – to speak His Life – and not to use my thoughts or mouth to speak death to others.
- I will want to be very careful with saying something – only sharing if I am sure God wants me to speak and if my motives are pure and I can share with great humility.
- It is generally best for me to share only if another person asks for my advice – and it may be best simply for me to share things God has shown me rather than to tell her what to do. But only as God clearly leads me.
- Not everyone will be ready or willing to hear about what God has shown me. Only God can open a person’s eyes to sin.
- If I find that my friends tend to be very disrespectful of their husbands, I may need to separate myself from them more. Not in a resentful or prideful way, but just to keep myself from temptation.
- If I do speak, I must have both truth and love for the person to whom I speak. And I must have the power of the Holy Spirit or I may cause more damage. This is a very sobering thing.
- How may I pray for this woman who is struggling? How may I seek to bless her in a way that would honor God?
Thank You that You have opened our eyes to sin in our lives to which we had been blind. It is a gift that we can see the sin now and that we can repent. Help us be humble about the temptations lurking around every corner to be prideful. Help us to be aware of Satan’s tactics to take us down. Help us recognize his voice when he tempts us to accuse others. He is the accuser. I don’t want to let his thoughts invade my mind and give him access to my mouth to use to attack others with his words.
Let the Holy Spirit alone rule in my heart. Give me Your eyes for other women and men. Give me Your heart and Your mind about them. Let Your Words of life flow from my mouth. Not words that will kill and destroy. Let me look on all other people with compassion, godly love, kindness, and total humility – knowing we all need You. I want to exalt You not myself. Cleanse me and radically transform me to be more like Jesus. I trust You to live in and through me so that I can obey You. I can’t obey You by myself. I can’t repent by myself or come to faith in Christ by myself. I am completely dependent on You, Lord, to cause me to grow and to live in victory over sin.
Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. Prov. 11:12
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16:18
Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Prov. 26:12
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:32
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
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