Afraid of the Mirror

Michael Beck

“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” (Romans 2:1)

One of the hallmarks of hypocrisy is the failure to realize we are guilty of what we accuse others of. David was incensed at another for doing the same thing he did. What a shock to learn: “Thou art the man!” (2 Sam. 12:7)

What causes such blindness to our own fault? Pride always causes us to think more highly of ourselves than we should. Somehow, we put the best spin on our actions and the worst on what another does. We are quick to justify ourselves and condemn others. We see the speck in the eye of another, but fail to see the beam in our own.

What can be done to rectify such a miserable state? First, we must know that we will one day be put on the stand and answer to the Judge of the whole earth.

“But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” (Romans 2:2,3)

A healthy fear of God can cure high-minded pride that leads to hypocrisy. We may judge ourselves with a lighter weight than we judge another, but God’s judgment is according to truth. He is no respecter of persons and He judges all according to the same standard. A willingness to examine ourselves, before we inspect anyone else, is vital in escaping hypocrisy.

A mirror is a dreadful thing for someone who hates what they will see. Better to live in self-delusion: “I am good. I’ve done nothing wrong.” But to those who will face their own failures and flaws before God, there is not judgment, but mercy.

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

Only those who have seen their own sin, and received the mercy and grace of God, are in any position to judge another. And they will not want to condemn, they will want to restore.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.