Apply this to yourself first

Yesterday’s devotional was about being “judgmental.” Contrary to what some people think, it’s actually okay to offer a humble word of constructive criticism to someone—just make sure you’ve first applied the same standard to yourself.

Today, let’s go a bit further. After making the previous point, Jesus says: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6).

Wow!

What I think this means is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, when we unduly criticize others with a standard we don’t first apply to ourselves, it makes a mockery of our faith, and we give people ammunition to shoot down who we are and what we have to say.

In short, living by a double standard is anti-evangelism. It misrepresents the character of the God we are trying to celebrate and share.

So what do you do?

Always apply a high ethical standard to yourself first.

When you do, it will make other people more open to what you have to say, and it will better reflect on the God we are trying to celebrate and share.

So what in your own life do you have to clean up? (I’m guessing you already know.)

Always apply a high ethical standard to yourself first.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • This coming Sunday (September 23) I’ll be talking about when miracles DON’T happen. Has someone ever told you that God was silent in your life because you didn’t have enough faith? Here’s more about what you can expect on Sunday.
  • “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday to Friday) and returns on September 24th.

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