We are quick to justify ourselves and tell others to mind their own business. But if Jesus is our LORD, then isn’t my business their business too?
One Word –
. . . and realizes his guilt, or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a goat . . . Leviticus 4:22-23, 27-28
Daily Bible Reading: Leviticus 4, 5, 6; Mark 13
Big Idea –
The LORD is giving instructions for both leaders (i.e. kings, rulers, or religious leaders) and common people. When anyone has sinned unintentionally breaking any of the commandments, he or she is to bring a sin offering for their forgiveness.
But notice, following the individual’s sin and before the bringing of an offering comes an awareness of one’s sin. One’s recognition of sin may have come in one of two ways. First, the individual may ‘asham become guilty. Or a person may have his or her sin yada` made know by someone else. Whether one’s conscience brings conviction and awareness of sin, or if one’s sin is revealed by someone else, a sin offering needs to be presented before the LORD to atone for the sin.
What we may not perceive is how one’s sin impacts the rest of the community in which we live (or the church fellowship we attend). It was not simply one’s conscience that brought guilt to seek out forgivingness. Rather because people lived in relationship with one another sin impacted the entire community. Therefore God encouraged others to come and reveal sin to another (even a leader), so the sin might be atoned for or forgiven, not just for the sake of the individual, but for the community as well.
To a large extent we have lost this awareness of living as members together of a united community through our faith in the LORD. For you and me, our sin is often seen as only a personal matter, and it is not any one else’s business. But if we truly understand what it means being united together in Christ, then my business really is everyone else’s business too. But here’s the problem within many churches; people talk with each other about everyone else’s business(that’s gossip and unhealthy), but few people are willing to talk with the individual about their business.
The prophet Jeremiah warned us that “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jer. 17:9). It is beyond our understanding, but thankfully the LORD searches and knows our hearts. In the end God will reward or punish each of us according to our hearts. Because the LORD does not want to destroy us, I think God will sometimes make known the ugly truth about our hearts to others who are willing to lovingly make our sin known to us.
You see I know myself. Often I’m quick to justify my actions, or should I say ‘MY SIN.’ I compare myself with others and don’t see myself as being guilty. But God knows my heart and wants to transform it. Sometimes I will respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but at other times my heart is hard. It is in these times that I need someone to help me see my sin for what it is and how it affects others.
Yet it is difficult for others to point out sin in another if they have not built a strong relationship first. It is difficult to build trust if the climate within our church or family is to talk ‘about people’ but never ‘with people.’ We need to restore the understanding of community within the church. Our relationships are far deeper than a Sunday only acquaintance. We are brothers and sisters, members together of God’s eternal family.
And it’s not just an idea lost in the pages of the Old Testament that we have developed relationships strong enough to help others deal with sin. Paul makes the same encouragement saying, “If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1).
Jesus has offered Himself as our once for all sin offering. Let’s not waste His sacrifice talking with other people about someone else’s sin. Instead, let’s love each other enough to personally go to the one who sinned, and let’s love each other enough to accept those who come to make known the sin that would seek to destroy us.
I need to allow others to speak into my life with loving rebukes and look carefully for the sin in my life that needs cleansed.
Yes to Yield –
LORD Jesus, forgive me for justifying myself even when I hear the criticism from others. Help me to look for the truth so any sin within me will be exposed and I can come to You for forgiveness. Thank You for bringing people around me that I can trust. May our love for each other continue to grow in You, so we might build each other up in our relationship together with You.